Smartech is a destination for innovation in the world’s best department stores, bringing people unprecedented access to next-generation tech
For the founders of Smartech, traditional retail isn’t dead, it’s just boring. This frustration fueled the birth of Smartech in 2016, across just 7 square metres of floor space in Selfridges, London. Since then, Smartech has been turning the tech retail game on its head with huge success, through out-of-the-box thinking and creating unforgettable experiences, with the Financial Times naming it as “a glimmer of light in retail” in 2019. “We’re a luxury tech store, designed with discovery in mind for people to try and play, get lost in another world for a while,” says Nathalie Bernce, co-founder of Smartech.
This new-thinking tech playground is home to more than 80 carefully curated and exclusive innovation brands. It’s the latest in tech, whether it’s a flying selfie camera that follows you, a self-cleaning water bottle, or a pair of Snap Spectacles which allow you to live the moment and capture high-definition content without your phone. Experienced in-store specialists help bring these products to life.
Smartech has experienced aggressive global growth over the past four years, growing over 143 per cent year on year in Selfridges, from 7 square metres, to 45, to 63. It now has a 200-square-metre flagship store within Selfridges, designed in partnership with Robert Storey, a renowned British architect working with the likes of Hermes, Nike and Gentle Monster. Smartech has also established a presence in leading department stores in many of the world’s major cities, including New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome and Tokyo.
“It’s a privilege to work with the world’s leading department stores, especially as in most cases Smartech is their first ever innovation store,” explains Jacov Nachtailer, co-founder of Smartech. “Next to the likes of Gucci and Fendi, we believe we offer something different to our customers with our experiences and product range.”
Over 70 per cent of the products sold by Smartech are exclusive to the store. Its buyers attend tech conferences and keep an ear to the ground to get the latest exciting new inventions. The range is wide, but the company handpicks only the very best of each category, choosing the cream of the crop based on an item’s tech, functionality and appearance. There is something for every pocket: customers can spend £10 to get their face 3D printed in chocolate or they can splash a cool £300,000 on the world’s first flying suit.
“Our experience is at the heart of what we do,” says Rob Smith, Head of Partnerships at Smartech. “When we launched the world’s first flying suit, we closed the entire street outside of Selfridges and hosted over 100 top UK press people to watch the performance. We love to amaze and amuse in everything we do.”
As the digital revolution continues to transform everything from politics to pop culture, Smartech gives innovators a platform to tell their story and help shine light on new ideas. “Pushing the boundaries of tech, design and creativity has been a driving force behind our success,” said Nathalie Bernce. “We work with amazing innovative companies from all around the world, from established names like Gillette, Snapchat and Facebook to new start-ups and entrepreneurs, helping them to tell their story. Ultimately, we see a massive potential to disrupt other industries outside innovation and tech, we will transform into new avenues and industries this year by introducing two new exclusive concepts at Selfridges and this is just the beginning.