Smartech curates playground for new retail tech and innovates at top department stores


Experience-led retailer Smartech claims to be a destination for innovation in the world’s best department stores, bringing people unparalleled access to innovation and next-gen tech.

For the founders of Smartech, traditional retail isn’t dead, it’s just boring. This frustration fueled the birth of Smartech when it launched in 2016, across just seven square-metres in Selfridges, London.

Since then, Smartech has been turning the tech retail game on its head, with huge success, through its out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to creating unforgettable experiences. “We’re a luxury tech store, designed with discovery in mind for people to try and play and get lost in another world for a while,” says Nathalie Bernce, co-founder of Smartech.

This new-thinking tech playground is home to over 80 carefully curated and exclusive innovation brands. It’s the latest in tech – whether it’s a flying selfie camera that follows you, a self-cleaning water bottle, a digital canvas or a solar-powered wallet. Customers visit Smartech to discover things they’ve never seen before. The Smartech specialists are constantly kept up-to-date with the latest developments through direct conversations and training calls with the brands and video updates via Smartech’s in-house app so customers can access their expertise virtually.

Smartech has experienced aggressive global growth over the past four years, growing over +140% year on year in Selfridges from 7 sqm, to 45, to 63 to their 200 sqm newly opened flagship store, designed in partnership with Robert Storey – a renowned British architect who has previously worked with brands like Hermes, Nike and Gentle Monster. Smartech has now established a presence in leading department stores in many of the world’s major cities, including New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan and Rome

“It’s a privilege to work with the world’s leading department stores, especially as in most cases Smartech is their first ever innovation store. Being located next to the likes of Gucci and Fendi, we believe we have something different to offer customers with our experience-led retail concept,” explains Jacov Nachtailer, co-founder of Smartech.

Over 70% of the items sold by Smartech are exclusive to the store. The Smartech buyers attend tech conferences and keep an ear to the ground to get the latest exciting new inventions. The range is wide, but the company handpicks only the very best, choosing the cream of the crop based on an item’s tech, functionality and appearance. They try to have something for every pocket, so customers can spend £10 to get their face 3D printed in chocolate or they can splash a cool £300,000 on the world’s first flying suit.

“Experience is crucial and it is at the heart of everything we do at Smartech,” says Rob Smith, head of partnerships at Smartech.

“When we launched the world’s first flying jet suit, we closed the entire street outside of Selfridges and hosted over 100 top UK press to watch the performance. We love to amaze and amuse.”

2021 for Smartech shows no signs of slowing down, as the brand diversies with new concepts, new categories and new channels, Smartech is going truly global. “Nothing will ever come close to the physical experience of visiting one of our stores; now we’re transforming e-commerce in the same way we did with bricks and mortar. Our most exciting challenge to-date is how to create a perfectly synrconised omni-channel experience and replicate our in-store experience, online” said Rob Smith.

“As the digital revolution continues to transform everything from politics to pop-culture, we give people who create things a platform to tell their story and help shine a light on new thinking and ideas. Pushing the boundaries of where tech, design and creativity collide has been a driving force behind our success,” said Bernce. “We work with amazing innovative companies from all around the world who share our values. More established companies such as, Gillette, Snapchat and Facebook alongside the latest startups and entrepreneurs, helping them to tell their story. Ultimately, we see a massive potential to disrupt other industries outside innovation and tech, we will transform into new avenues and industries this year by introducing two new exclusive concepts at Selfridges and this is just the beginning.”