An aerial rendering of what the new Fourpost space on Mall of America’s second floor looks like.
Almost a year ago, Mall of America’s Minnesota Marketplace opened up as a holiday pop-up store that ran through the Super Bowl, became Retail As A Service (RAAS) and has now officially evolved into the permanent Fourpost, open Nov. 1.
Among the 20-plus brands are new and returning names, including nonprofit Still Kickin, MEND Jewelry and its natural crystal-inspired pieces, Thumbs Cookies, and Kaashi Furniture, a beautiful woodworking company that often adds Persian-influenced tile to its pieces. When curating Fourpost, it wasn’t simply a matter of having each brand occupy its own niche; it was also about how the stories of each connect to the diverse conceptions of who makes up Minnesota and the region. Business owners have the option to sign up for three-, six-, or 12-month leases, creating a balance between coming back to a favorite brand and finding new treasures.
“We wanted to … make it easier for millions of shoppers to discover and connect with local makers across a variety of categories, from fashion to food,” Mark Ghermezian, founder of RAAS and Fourpost, says.
As the brand are all so unique, Ghermezian’s team developed flexible setup options that worked with that, going beyond the default (but classic) cube and offering shapes such as triangles and rectangles as well. Each space comes with signage, fixtures, lighting, and point-of-service hardware.
As obvious as it might sound, these stores within a store really do make up a mini marketplace ecosystem where they can be their own entity. It’s not just a little of one brand here and a little of one brand there, mixed among the shelves. It’s definitive spaces that retain their independence and personality in a shared community. (Perhaps in the shared event space Gathered Goods can do some of their craft bar activities, yes?)
“By giving emerging businesses access to a high-visibility platform,” Ghermezian says, “we hope to become a destination that supports local commerce, allows businesses to learn from each other, and keeps shoppers coming back for more.”
For more Minnesota maker love, you can also check out places like the newly opened Rose and Loon in Rosedale Center or the next Shopcicle pop-up (Nov. 15, Women Artisans). Either way, you can bet local love isn’t going away anytime soon.