Calling all aspiring entrepreneurs: You can now get pro business tips from the most popular e-comm giant IRL. After bringing its 12 Weeks of Pop-Ups to ROW DTLA, retail platform Shopify is moving permanently into the buzzy Arts District lifestyle center, where its first brick-and-mortar space is now serving shoppers and future moguls.
Located at the prime corner spot in Building 1, the entrepreneurial hub will offer everything from offline support with Shopify's Gurus and product demos to weekly events like educational workshops, panel discussions, networking mixers to help sellers grow their biz, and many more inspiring resources.
Over 600,000 businesses are powered by Shopify, including LA's own For Love and Lemons, Frankie's Bikinis, MVMT Watches, plus-size designer retailer 11 Honoré, and reality star-turned-designer Jessica Rich, to name just a few.
The commerce platform got its start in 2006 as an online snowboard equipment store and has since morphed into a merchant-friendly service that gives business owners the power to create a seamless experience for customers, from allowing them to design user-friendly websites and shoppable Instagram feeds to helping them keep inventory and take credit card payments in real life. Shopify has helped its users (that's a million of 'em active and counting) sell over $72 billion worth of merch.
Here, we caught up with vice president of product Satish Kanwar to find out more about what Shopify loves about its DTLA space, how its LA merchants will help improve the platform, and more. Read on below, and stay tuned to find out who'll be popping up in their space next; in the meantime, you can book an appointment or check out the store's event schedule here.
What specifically about ROW DTLA drew you to open your first brick-and-mortar location there?
ROW DTLA, and Downtown LA in general, are representative of the type of inspired entrepreneurship that Shopify makes its mission to encourage and grow.
Tell us more about your LA merchants. How do they perform against the rest of your users?
LA is the ideal place for this initial in-person location because the area plays host to over 400 top-performing merchants who have each individually earned over $1 million in gross merchandise volume. There are 10,000 Shopify merchants in LA alone, and 80,000 in California — making it one of our densest merchant populations globally.
Did your merchants' feedback play a role in your decision to open in Downtown and if so, what amenities ad workshops will cater to them?
After five years of investing in real-life programming such as Unite, Retail Tour, and ShopClass, we know that face-to-face help makes a huge difference for our partners' and merchants' businesses.
Merchants and partners should see this space as a permanent hub made to support their businesses. This location will offer the tools — including the retail hardware and software to help merchants seamlessly sell online and offline — and services to empower our Shopify ecosystem and community to support business owners.
We've developed a smart set of curriculum that addresses some of the biggest challenges, and the small tricky ones too, that unlock the next wave of business growth. As we help businesses, we'll continue to listen to the LA ecosystem and produce new curriculum, as the face of commerce continually changes.
What can consumers expect to experience at the space?
Programming is designed to help launch new partners and merchants, and grow tenured partner and merchant businesses — including one-on-one hourly appointments, onsite retail consults, problem-solving workshops, new product demos, partner meet-ups, mentorship sessions, and inspirational events.
So far, we've had an amazing response from local entrepreneurs: Over 3,000 sessions have been booked by merchants in the first week, and many events are completely booked up in our first month of opening.
Depending on the response to the ROW DTLA space, do you have plans on opening other locations in LA and/or the west coast?
While we have no current plans for additional locations, we are excited to test and learn with our first location. As with all of our products, we will implement these learnings into future iterations of the space and programming.
Shopify at ROW DTLA
777 Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90021