For those in the greater London area, get ready to see a whole lot more 3D printing buzz. Today, iMakr announced that it will be opening a two-story, 2500 square-foot 3D printing retail store in Farringdon in Central London. Could this be the ‘office supply store’ of the future? Take off your Google Glass at the register, please.
A Next Generation ‘Office Supply Store’?
While the new iMakr store will most definitely stock a wide range of 3D printers from multiple international manufacturers, the fun doesn’t end there. Presumably, there will be on-site 3D printing services similar to MCor Technologies’ existing presence in various Staples locations in Europe, as well as filaments and other 3D printing materials and accessories. While the large range of 3D printers in a unique retail environment will surely receive it’s fair share of hype, perhaps what’s most interesting is that the store will carry multiple maker technologies and will function as a sort of one-stop resource for those Maker technologies.
Items such as 3D scanners and 3D printed products will also have displays of their own for shoppers to drool over as well as regular community events, demos, and workshops. What’s critical about this business model is that previously, interested consumers would have had to attend an event like MakerFair or a local workshop in order to physically see a 3D printer in action…or even a 3D printer at all. Multiple studies have proven that Apple’s retail model of allowing potential customers to ‘play’ with their products leads to more sales. It’s hard to argue that having a radical technology such as a 3D printer available only online for somebody new to the scene doesn’t necessarily help sales:
“3D Printing is all about physical machines making physical things. People need a physical store to see, touch, feel, and engage with technology. That’s what the iMakr store is all about.”
-Sylvain Preumont, Founder and CEO of iMakr
While the official date is yet to be released, if you’re in the London area in April be sure to head to the iMakr website (still in development) to sign up for the grand opening announcements.