Entrepreneurs are creating alternatives to noisy or crowded spaces where consumers can work or relax after checking in with mobile apps. Take 3DEN, which is located at New York City’s Hudson Yards development. Its founder sees the space as an aggregate of a coffee shop, gym, hotel lobby and public park. “We’re just putting different pieces of the puzzle together in a much better environment,” 3DEN Founder and CEO Ben Silver told PYMNTS.com in an interview, adding that the space is convenient and reliable. He describes the environment as the second generation of a “third place,” a space to pass the time between work and home.
Silver said 3DEN is designed for the “in-between moments of the day,” providing areas for productivity, relaxation and respite. It offers amenities such as showers, nap pods and soundproof phone booths, along with functional retail with essential items available. The space also has features like charging stations for digital devices and a meditation room.
A visitor’s digital journey begins when she visits the App Store and downloads the company’s app, which shows all of 3DEN’s locations. (In addition to the current Hudson Yards location, additional New York City locations are planned to roll out this year). Before visitors decide to visit a space, they can see how busy it is and how many showers, nap pods and phone booths are available. Guests pay a flat rate for every half hour, which includes access to all amenities and facilities.
To purchase access to the space, visitors can enter their credit card information into the app to receive a pass with a code, which the host scans at the location. Through the app, visitors can also reserve showers and nap pods as well as buy products. If consumers see a product they like at the location, they can scan a barcode, pull up the item’s information and check out in the app. There are also quick-response (QR) codes attached to showers on iPads. If consumers have booked a shower reservation, they can use the code to access it.
Silver said the space can appeal to a wide range of demographics, from the office worker to the tourist coming off the High Line to someone traversing around the city or freelancing.
In February, 3DEN announced a $2 million seed round co-led by b8ta and Graphene Ventures. The round also included participation from The Stable, Colle Capital Partners and JTRE, among others. The funding was to be used to open the Hudson Yards location, according to a February press release.
Beyond 3DEN, Neiman Marcus was recently gearing up to open what it describes as a “multi-level retail experience” at Hudson Yards. The 188,000-square-foot space was to host three levels of luxury fashion and dining, stocking iconic and emerging brands as well as exclusive products. Features were to include digitally enabled fitting rooms and digital stylists to work with customers in a place called the “Digital Styling Lounge.”
Neiman Marcus Group CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck said in a March announcement for the location, “This store recognizes our brand’s history and heritage while adapting to how the next generation of luxury customers shop. Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards will be all about providing physical and digital experiences in a way not seen at other stores, creating a personal customer experience that is seamless and magical.” Case in point: Memory Makeover mirrors will allow customers have beauty demonstrations and makeup tutorials sent to them through text or email.
The project, which was under development by the Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, reportedly planned to include a dedicated floor for eCommerce brands called The Floor of Discovery. The Drug Store (opened by Dirty Lemon’s parent company) was said to be among the space’s future tenants, as of a January report. It would also feature menswear brand Rhone and sock maker Stance. The environment is said to house an M.Gemi‘s store that will tap into Resy for reservations.
From the Floor of Discovery to Neiman Marcus and 3DEN, innovators are making their mark on Hudson Yards, with the help of retail spaces augmented with digital technology, to help consumers shop and make reservations.