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When the coronavirus pandemic began in March, businesses of all sizes felt the effects, including empty stadiums and arenas, once packed with fans during sporting events.
Witnessing the impact this had on employees, Adrian Curiel & Kyle Negrete started their company, WICK SPORTS, as a way to raise money in support of NBA stadium staff. Their candles are inspired by game day traditions, smell like a moment in sports and are designed to connect fans to their favorite team. Just 30 days after launching on May 6, this pandemic-born startup sold out their first batch. "At WICK, we’re on a mission to reignite team spirit. So when we discovered Tangible and how they play a unique role in their communities, we knew this would be a great way to get local sports fans fired up for game day."
WICK is just one example of a small business working to give back to communities, harnessing local talent and connecting with the consumer on a new level. Many of these businesses – like WICK – were born online. Now, seven brands have a new physical home thanks to Tangible™ Collective, Washington Prime Group’s (NYSE: WPG) innovative concept which brings together the best of brick-and-mortar and e-commerce and offers guests the opportunity to try (or smell) unique, online-only products in a physical space.
From local small businesses such as Barnes Cards and retailers on platforms such as Etsy and Amazon, to those upstart Instagram brands often seen within larger national footprints, Tangible Collective aims to bring an eclectic mix to guests. Equipped with expert merchandising and digital teams, the stores feature creative displays intricately showcasing new brands. Additionally, each location has a Brand Expert trained by the respective brands to share important information and talking points. While browsing, guests have the option to make quick, efficient purchases through Tangible Collective’s in-store tablets.
Now, just in time for the season of giving, Tangible Collective is welcoming seven new brands, including Wick Sports, to its three locations including Polaris Fashion Place® in Columbus, Ohio; The Outlet Collection® | Seattle in Auburn, Washington; and WestShore Plaza in Tampa, Florida. These brands, featuring a range of products from one-of-a-kind greeting cards and outdoor-use flasks to a subscription box specifically for Black-owned businesses, capture the ingenuity of small businesses to create a memorable shopping experience. Each new brand contributes to Tangible’s experiential atmosphere for guests to fully explore, touch and feel.
"We know this holiday season will be especially challenging for the small businesses that help our communities thrive," said Jennifer Moretti, Senior Vice President and Chief Activation Officer at Washington Prime Group. "We are enthusiastic to welcome these brands to Tangible Collective, giving them a physical home for the holiday season and beyond, while offering our guests a range of diverse products."
Tangible Collective is committed to partnering with community-centric brands and shining a light on the hard work of artisans and entrepreneurs. In return, guests delight in a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. To many of these brands, it’s more than just business. They are dedicated to giving back to the community and using their products and platform to support others. Washington Prime Group is proud to provide these brands a physical home, as their values directly align with those of every town center.
Guests searching for the perfect greeting card or an interesting puzzle for holiday activities at home will be able to check out Barnes Cards. Founded by a Columbus-based artist, Barnes’ designs aim to elevate the mood of others and spread "good feels." Additionally, Barnes Cards will donate a portion of proceeds to local programs that support youth experiencing homelessness.
"As an entrepreneur, I'm always on the lookout for rad innovations. When I learned about Tangible Collective the light bulb went off," said local designer Barnes. "Giving shoppers an opportunity to experience the product, but still purchase it online and have it shipped to their homes is such a timely and smart evolution in the retail world. I'm excited to partner with Tangible and to watch other brands follow suit."
Additionally, Tangible Collective’s first CBD brand offering, For All Cares, creates lush products carefully crafted with CBD to provide rejuvenation and restoration from head to toe. Following suit, Kitty & Pierce is a beauty and wellness brand specializing in creating lotions and skin products to give skin a healthy balance all year round.
Providing guests an opportunity to shop small while giving back, The Black Box is an exciting subscription, delivering curated products from Black-owned businesses, every quarter. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, the service launched during Black History Month in 2019 and continues to incorporate different businesses from around the country.
"Partnering with Tangible was a perfect fit, because we both recognize how important it is for consumers to connect with brands in a unique and meaningful way," said Talei Hornback, Founder of The Black Box. "Supporting our business model and the Black-owned businesses we partner with, speaks volumes to who Tangible Collective is as a forward-thinking company."
Finally, new brands, Chassie and HighCamp Flasks will only be sold on Tangible Collective’s online platform. Chassie, a furniture company founded in the Bronx New York City, creates unique desks through partnering with other New York City-based artists. HighCamp Flasks offers flasks geared towards outdoor use. The company started as a Kickstarter and has now been featured in leading outdoor publications, such as Huckberry.
"Each new brand plays an integral role in Tangible Collective’s innovative shopping experience," continued Moretti. "We’re looking forward to providing guests with fun holiday shopping finds while sharing our curated collection of brands."
Gearing up for the holiday season, Tangible Collective will also offer a specially curated Holiday Gift Guide to help shoppers find the perfect gift for each person on their list this year. The Tangible Collective Holiday Gift Guide is available here.
In addition to providing one-of-a-kind treasures, Tangible Collective’s retail locations also remain a safe option for holiday shopping. Tangible Collective’s smaller retail spaces maintain Washington Prime Group’s rigorous cleaning standards and allow guests to peruse products while remaining socially distant. The locations also allow for the opportunity for guests to easily purchase items via in-store tablets or from the comfort of their own homes.
As Tangible welcomes these seven new brands, it’s an opportunity to recognize the small makers, artisans, and hard-working entrepreneurs that have worked tirelessly to bring their creations to life. The retail locations create buzz and provide a physical presence for these brands with a limited or non-existent brick-and-mortar footprint. A committed supporter of small businesses, Tangible Collective embraces Washington Prime Group’s mission of providing guests with one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities and a seamless experience at the nexus of physical and digital to explore and enjoy unique products.
About Tangible Collective
Created in 2017 by Washington Prime Group, Tangible Collective is a curated space with a consistent rotation of online brands, encouraging shoppers to explore and discover items before they buy online. Blending the brick-and-mortar and e-commerce experience, Tangible Collective is located at three town centers including Polaris Fashion Place® in Columbus, Ohio; The Outlet Collection® | Seattle in Auburn, Washington; and WestShore Plaza in Tampa, Florida. Learn more about Tangible Collective and explore their unique selection of brands at www.tangiblecollective.com. Follow along on social media on Facebook and Instagram at @TangibleCollective.
About Washington Prime Group
Washington Prime Group: National footprint with local flavor. With 100 town centers throughout the US, we’re as American as apple pie. As a matter of fact, we are also as American as deep dish pizza in Chicago, Hawaiian poke salad, vegan spring rolls in Malibu, El Paso Tex-Mex, Maryland crab cakes, kimchi in Orange County, Memphis barbeque and a Kansas City porterhouse. Our well regarded infrastructure, from Hawaii to Connecticut, and pretty much everywhere else in between, allows our tenant and sponsor partners to benefit from the operating efficacy and economies of scale at a large national real estate company, alongside local management who possess comprehensive knowledge of the specific locale within which they reside. Washington Prime Group®, Tangible™, The Outlet Collection® | Seattle, and Polaris Fashion Place® are registered trademarks of the Company. The Company also holds a patent (U.S. PAT. NO. 10,540,702 B2) for the Tangible interactive marketing concept. Learn more at www.washingtonprime.com.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 which represent the current expectations and beliefs of management of Washington Prime Group Inc. ("WPG") concerning the proposed transactions, the anticipated consequences and benefits of the transactions and the targeted close date for the transactions, and other future events and their potential effects on WPG, including, but not limited to, statements relating to anticipated financial and operating results, future liquidity, the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, cost savings and other statements, including words such as "anticipate," "believe," "confident," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "will," "should," "may," and other similar expressions. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of WPG’s management, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of WPG to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation: changes in asset quality and credit risk; ability to sustain revenue and earnings growth; changes in political, economic or market conditions generally and the real estate and capital markets specifically; the impact of increased competition; the availability of capital and financing; tenant or joint venture partner(s) bankruptcies; the failure to increase store occupancy and same-store operating income; risks associated with the acquisition, disposition, (re)development, expansion, leasing and management of properties; changes in market rental rates; trends in the retail industry; relationships with anchor tenants; risks relating to joint venture properties; costs of common area maintenance; competitive market forces; the level and volatility of interest rates; the rate of revenue increases as compared to expense increases; the financial stability of tenants within the retail industry; the restrictions in current financing arrangements or the failure to comply with such arrangements; the liquidity of real estate investments; the impact of changes to tax legislation and WPG’s tax positions; losses associated with closures, failures and stoppages associated with the spread and proliferation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; to qualify as a real estate investment trust; the failure to refinance debt at favorable terms and conditions; loss of key personnel; material changes in the dividend rates on securities or the ability to pay dividends on common shares or other securities; possible restrictions on the ability to operate or dispose of any partially-owned properties; the failure to achieve earnings/funds from operations targets or estimates; the failure to achieve projected returns or yields on (re)development and investment properties (including joint ventures); expected gains on debt extinguishment; changes in generally accepted accounting principles or interpretations thereof; terrorist activities and international hostilities; the unfavorable resolution of legal or regulatory proceedings; failure of the contemplated reverse share split to accomplish the Company’s objectives for the action and such other adverse consequences on the marketability and liquidity of the Company’s common stock; the impact of future acquisitions and divestitures; assets that may be subject to impairment charges; significant costs related to environmental issues; changes in LIBOR reporting practices or the method in which LIBOR is determined; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in WPG’s statements and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those described under "Risk Factors". The forward-looking statements in this communication are qualified by these risk factors. Each statement speaks only as of the date of this press release and WPG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from current projections, expectations, and plans, if any. Investors, potential investors and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.
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