Unboxing a new retail concept
When Unbox Greenhills had its soft opening early last month, it was a crowd-puller.
This 500-sqm space on the second floor of the Promenade Mall in Greenhills had collectors, enthusiasts and hobbyists trooping over to this side of the metro to check out what the hubbub was all about. And they weren’t disappointed—sneakers that you can cop for a steal, elusive game consoles, NBA cards that could easily fetch a six-figure price, Funko Pop, toys, watches, among others, mostly displayed inside these four-layer, locked glass cabinets.
But while Unbox Greenhills seems like your typical brick and mortar store, it’s really more than that. It’s a shop for the new digital age.
In an era that has seen brick and mortar shops shuttering at a record pace globally and online shopping gaining traction, a group of collectors decided to marry the merits of physical and digital to create this concept that does not only sell, but more importantly enables fellow enthusiasts to earn on the side.
Unbox Greenhills brings to the table a concept it calls “Brick & Mortar+”, which is a hybrid between physical and digital—ideal for the post-COVID-19 world.
Carlo Ople, Robert Ty, Mike Gomez and Felix Acuña—united by their common love for collecting and side hustling—comprise the team that seeks to leverage on their respective expertise to introduce this novel retailing concept. The founders come different backgrounds—one is an influencer with a massive online reach, another is lawyer with an extensive business experience, while two are adept entrepreneurs well versed in the world of toy and card collecting.
“Our vision for the shop is to be an experiential community hub for collectors. It’s a place where people can trade, buy, and sell. It’s a place where people can talk and exchange ideas. We’re looking at doing a lot of displays, mini events and activations in the next few months especially as the lockdown restrictions ease up,” Ople said.
“At the same time, the shop was built from the ground-up for the new digital era. We have a live-selling studio inside the shop and the cabinets and booths are designed for maximum visibility for social media and digital marketing. In fact, we are launching exclusive livestream partnerships with the top e-commerce platforms in the country. This allows shoppers to ‘add to cart’ with a quick tap on the screen while watching our videos and not just type ‘pa mine po’ in the comments section. It’s window shopping on a whole new level—the marriage between physical and digital,” Ople further explained.
Ty pointed out that Unbox Greenhills exists so people can turn their passion for collecting into side hustles and eventually full-blown businesses. The store has over 150 four-layer glass cabinets or “boxes,” which it rents out for as low as P3,500 a month. Apart from the seller’s center, Unbox Greenhills features a “steal cabinet,” food and cafe corner, a live selling hall, the “grail wall” and collector’s capital. The group also provides digital marketing, sales and operations support for its partners, according to Ty.
“In a nutshell, we support, empower and incubate collectors who want to earn from doing what they love. It’s good for their wallet, their hearts and their mental health because they enjoy it,” Ty said.
Visit Unbox Greenhills at the second floor of Promenade Mall or check out its Facebook page (Facebook.com/unbox.gh)
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