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Brandless doesn’t want to sell you products at its new pop-up

Brandless, the online grocery brand where everything costs $3, is taking a stab at physical retail with a pop-up that will launch in Los Angeles and stay open between May 1 and 13.

However, this pop-up isn’t designed to help Brandless sell stuff, although products from the line will be available to test and taste. Instead, it’s more like a two-week-long speaker series, where experts in health, wellness, social good, beauty, and entrepreneurship are invited to give talks to the community.

Among those coming to speak are Brittney Castro, the founder of Financially Wise Women, and Carlo Dumandan, the head of brand innovation at Pencils of Promise. This programming will also be broadcast through Brandless’s social channels. The events cost $9, and attendees need to get tickets on the event’s microsite.

This pop-up is part of a broader trend in brick and mortar. With malls on the decline, startups have realized that physical shopping needs to be about much more than just transactions. They need to be fun experiences and places that foster community, which are more powerful ways of creating long-term brand loyalty than simply selling products.

Brandless donates meals to Feeding America every time someone shops at the site. It has already donated nearly a million meals. But in conjunction with this event, it will donate 10 meals on behalf of every attendee who comes and 5,000 meals on behalf of every speaker.

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