Automated luxury store, U*tique, just opened up its first location ever in Fred Segal Santa Monica. It’s lux-o-matic, interactive, insta-matic…just don’t call it a vending machine. Although that’s basically what this fancy-schmancy machine does. Except instead of dispensing cheesy puffs, it sells 50 upscale beauty items, indulgences and lifestyle products like Aira mink eyelashes, Bliss triple oxygen mask, David Kirsch Wellness detox kit, GoSmile smile brightening system and ModelCo Tan in a Can to name just a few.
It’s no wonder 29-year-old CEO and Creator Mara Segal, who hails from San Francisco, thought Los Angeles would be a better starting market for her product. She hopes to one day make this machine available in airports and hotels for fabulous jet-setters as well as gyms. But for right now, you can check it out at Fred Segal Santa Monica.
There aren’t any pushy salespeople to deal with but you may have to wait in a line while customers try to figure out how to navigate the screens to find product recommendations, ingredients lists and free samples (you have to swipe your credit card and register an email address).
If you want to buy something it’s sorta like online shopping but you get your product right there. You pick something via the touchscreen, put it in a virtual bag, swipe your credit card and enter personal information and then the little black door beneath the screen slides up and reveals your product.
Like I said, the only downside is that you’d probably have to wait for people to slowwwly make their purchase, from shopping for their product to actually buying it. But otherwise a neat idea and great if you want to just pick up something without the hassle of salespeople.
Oh, also they only sell luxury items. A $109 shaving set and the like. I had asked why the prices aren’t displayed with the items, you know like in vending machines, and was told that if I had to ask how much something cost then I probably shouldn’t be buying something from that machine. Not said in a snobby way but matter of factly. M’OK.