The Sock Spot Debuts ‘Automated Retail Units’ In SF’s Westfield Mall

Posted On: 8/6/2019

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Sock Spot, a retailer of novelty socks, has rolled out the first of several “automated retail units” at the Westfield San Francisco Center. The leadoff machine is installed by the Powell and Market Street Bay Area Rapid Transit entrance on the shopping mall’s concourse level. It’s stocked with more than 40 pairs of novelty socks, specialized for San Francisco area shoppers.

“To me, this represents something in retail that hasn’t been done,” said Sock Spot chief executive Ben Williams. He described it as “an evolution that allows a small online startup to expand the reach of our brand, deliver a unique, ‘online-esque’ experience to brick and mortar, and use our wealth of digital knowledge to specialize the assortment.”

The Sock Spot’s motto is “Change Your Socks … Change the World,” and Williams is always looking for ways of “thinking outside the box” to sell fun socks.

The Sock Spot CEO explained that his "automated retailing units" differ from the popular conception of vending equipment. “The machine is definitely a change from vending machines that people know,” he said. “It is 100% touchscreen and 100% cashless, accepting mobile payment and credit cards.” It has an add-to-cart feature so the shopper can purchase more than one pair at a time Williams added; and there are more innovations to come.

“As we proceed, the machine is going to keep evolving, adapting both its assortment and its interface to fit the people around it and offer a truly unique and interactive experience,” Williams added. The Sock Spot partnered with Digital Media Vending International.

The Sock Spot has been selling fun socks online for more than two years at Digital Media Vending International and this new retail channel is an expansion under the same brand. “As these machines get going, we hope to bridge the gap between them and our online store into a single seamless experience,” Williams continued. “We are excited to see what the future holds for both the machines and our website as we do this.”

With the first unit now in place, The Sock Spot’s presence will continue to grow and expand, he continued. “We think this could be everywhere. There are fun socks for everything nowadays; it’s just about making the match with the person. This machine can do that, and we are excited to expand and get more fun socks to more fun people.”