New York-based designer Marla Aaron is installing a vending machine to sell her goods in the Brooklyn Museum. Installed this past weekend, the machine will stand as a pop-up until the end of the year.
The technology booth has touch screens and video capabilities so that users can learn more about the designer's story. Seven items are available for purchase and they range in price from $100 to $1,500.
Aaron is hoping to showcase her brand in a way that creates a unique event and experience for her customers.
“We created this vending machine as a new way to deliver an unlikely experience for our customers—to find our jewelry in a place where they would not normally find it,” said Aaron. “Whether that encounter is in exceptional stores (like the ones we are sold in currently), via our e-commerce channels or something unexpected in an unexpected place, like the Brooklyn Museum. This is an experiment on many levels—creatively most especially so it made perfect sense to choose a cultural institution as our partner for this project."
Aaron's designs are available through several e-commerce sites, many boutiques around the U.S., and five international stores. So why a vending machine in New York?
"While the retail landscape has changed dramatically, the importance of individualized special experiences especially with something like jewelry is as important as ever," Aaron told FierceRetail. "I am very interested in showcasing our jewelry in interesting places and for me putting the jewelry in a vending machine at the Brooklyn Museum is the highest expression of this."
Over the last few years, Aaron has noticed a rise in the average online sale. She believes this is a combination of brand recognition and the ability of consumers to feel confident buying fine jewelry without needing to touch it.
Looking to the future, Aaron hopes that other brands will consider vending machines as a retail outlet.
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"I think people would enjoy it and it sets the stage for thinking about markets and craft fairs and perhaps even rethinking parts of malls that have become a bit old fashioned and even the vast tracts of empty retail space that you see for instance in New York City," Aaron said.
"Our business growth has been nothing short of extraordinary. We are in a very significant growth spurt with no signs of slowing. We are excited," she said.