The future of retail is right in our backyard.
SMU alum and board member, Matt Alexander, graduated with an English degree in 2010 and has opened a new department store at Legacy West in Plano. The innovative department store, Neighborhood Goods, opened its doors on Saturday, November 17. The new concept is the next step for department stores with interactive technology, customer service on your own terms and a communal space to spend time and grab some food.
Its main goal is to create relationships between customers and brands. Some of which include Sonos a wireless home audio brand; Stadium Goods a sneaker and streetwear marketplace, men’s wellness brand hims; Reese Witherspoon’s lifestyle brand Draper James, and Dallas based artisanal home goods brand, The Citizenry among many. Not all of the brands will have a permanent spot in the store. These direct-to-consumer brands have will be around for a few months and new brands will rotate in due to the demand.
Co-founder Matt Alexander wants to reinvent the department store with these brands that usually don’t have a physical retail space.
“Instead of having a mundane sea of racks and seasonal products we have some of the most interesting brands in the world,” said Alexander.
On opening day, they were screen printing T-shirts in-store for the customers as they shopped and enjoyed music played by the DJ. On their way out they could stop for a commemorative picture from a photo booth.
The wide open space is meant to foster community with its cozy sitting areas and restaurant and bar, Prim & Proper. The communal aspect of the store is what sets it apart, on opening day the restaurant was busy and there was plenty of seating for everyone to enjoy.
Karen, an SMU parent who was shopping with her daughter at the grand opening, said that she really liked the environment and brands they brought to Plano and she can see herself going back to grab a bite to eat and shop.
Even though it’s convenient to just shop online, some still want that in-store experience. The new concept felt natural to customers as they ordered glasses of wine and walked around the store sipping while they shopped. Alexander said that it’s important to him that customers make this experience their own and shop on their own terms as he is simply providing a social space for customers to so that.
Lorraine Phillips, a Plano native, described the store was homey and dynamic.
“It seems like a cool place to hang out as well as shop,” said Phillips. “I don’t think there are many places like that.”
The department store brand is editorially driven with an online publication, magazine, and podcast in the works. Alexander said he wants to bridge the gap between brands and customers and he is using media as a vehicle to tell stories about the people behind the brands.
“It’s much more of a human story,” said Alexander. “That’s what our publication is about, that’s what we are about.”
The co-founder said that they are going to be expanding within the next year with new brands and partnerships, and the store has a long list of events planned. Their next event Galsgiving was on Tuesday, November 20, a 15-minute floral arrangement class. Neighborhood Goods is located on 5905 Legacy Drive in Plano.