Post image for T Magazine | Container Store

T Magazine | Container Store

by Dekalb Market on September 1, 2011

in Press

For the inaugural phase of its new retail endeavor, the Brooklyn design incubator 3rd Ward thought inside the box — specifically, a salvaged shipping container it callsShopbox. The store opened this Friday, and, like its neighbors at Dekalb Market in Brooklyn, makes its home in a repurposed rectangular storage unit. Painted a can’t miss-bright green, and with prominent window displays on two sides, Shopbox showcases a rotating assortment of wares, which, after signing up using an on-site iPad, shoppers can purchase via text. Merchandise is then shipped directly to your address, a play on the shipping-container conceit itself, according to 3rd Ward’s retail director, Jeffrey Opdyke. “This was an opportunity to create a beautiful jewel box of a design store and meld it with the latest technology,” he says. “We’re creating a totally new shopping experience.”


Buying American is an integral to that experience. All of the items for sale at Shopbox are made in the U.S.A. and run the gamut from Topo’s colorful canvas backpacks ($98 and $139) to Rich Brilliant and Willing’s Branch floor lamp ($2,130). Products like felt baseball caps ($39) reissued from original United Negro League designs, hark back to the Brooklyn neighborhood; others, like the Mopha tool roll ($44) and MakerBot 3-D printer ($1,299, unassembled) reflect 3rd Ward’s D.I.Y. philosophy. Indeed, doing-it-yourself is key to the Shopbox ethos as well, since there are no salespeople present to assist you with your purchases. (Eventually shoppers will be able to buy directly through 3rd Ward’s Web site; there’s also an on-site explanatory video on loop.) “I think people will get a kick out of this new way to use technology,” Opdyke says. “Plus, I don’t have to worry about an employee calling in sick and the store is always open.”

3rd Ward’s Shopbox at Dekalb Market, 138 Willoughby Street, Brooklyn.


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