Blackstone Inc., the largest independent real estate company that owns the world’s largest real estate and the strongest investor in centralized real estate in the country, is questioning some of its investments. to business-to-business with the January launch of its JuniperMarket B2B online marketplace.
Co -located with its International Market Centers which is the largest retail market in the furniture industry, with facilities in Atlanta, Las Vegas and High Point, NC, Juniper is a company of digital services led by this innovation. a store that connects customers with accessories, furniture and gift pieces, and clothing, with customers selling those products. It allows businesses to make buying and selling products online, an important part of marketing, especially during times of illness.
“We want to be in the center of the market,” Tyler Henritze, head of U.S. investment for Blackstone Real Estate, said in an interview. “We have the opportunity to create a large B2B omnichannel marketplace and we believe for a long time that people will need to fully integrate digital and physical platforms.”
Blackstone has had the physical side of the B2B side of the business since joining the platform with its acquisition of IMC in 2017 from its previous stake under Bain Capital.
But the launch of JuniperMarket, more than 18 months in the making, took Blackstone and IMC into the growing digital market side of the industry where consumers shop and online customers. It started quickly with more than 1,500 customers to the three million skus agreed upon when it started, according to Bill Furlong, CEO of Juniper. About half of that is in the jewelry and accessories department, about 40% in gift shops and the rest in clothing, he said. About 25,000 customers and vendors have already signed up to sign up for JuniperMarket accounts but with a few weeks under its belt Furlong said it was too early to offer the thinking about the size of the business or its longevity.
JuniperMarket isn’t just looking for a digital marketing business at home and gift pieces. Faire, a startup that pulled strong investments from the personal balance, is seen as the first to come online and is considered the most popular service currently at home. Another competitor, such as JuniperMarket, is affiliated with the physical market center MarketTime, which has parent operations such as Dallas Market Center, Crow Holdings. There are a number of small and medium -sized players trying to gain a foothold in the home and gift business, which is expected to generate as much as $ 300 billion in annual sales in stores.
JuniperMarket, according to Blackstone’s Henritze, has a competitive advantage of its size and scale. “We are able to create a seamless market experience and we believe that the integration of our market centers and JuniperMarket is the best way to serve our customers and clients. our strategy is to lead the market. “
Over the past two years or so, the number of people attending physical therapy shows and market centers has dropped by between 20% and 75% but Henritze finds that a further rise in travel numbers, something the market has seen with its first reports now. 2022.
As long and expensive as the development is – the company says it has invested $ 100 million so far – Blackstone expects to find markets like JuniperMarket with a physical component and with a digital piece to get great value. “The hardest thing to do again is the physical market,” he said.
Furlong, Juniper’s CEO, agreed in an interview at the January Las Vegas market, and JuniperMarket said the combination of retailers and retailers – is a key factor in the offering. to home products and gifts – created the “ecosystem” necessary. He said the separation of IMC’s ownership as a landlord and Juniper as a marketer was an important part of the system, preventing customer anonymity.
And as the two executives continue to emphasize the importance of physical displays and markets – “We are a people and we need to see and experience physical products,” Furlong said – virtual retailers offer to new ones. “We see our market being used to identify products and the standard set -up process.
“But it’s a free time for big retailers to see small lines and for small retailers to see big retailers,” an unlikely physical event, Furlong added. “People do different businesses in different ways” at JuniperMarket.
Of course, having a power like Blackstone behind the scenes is considered addictive. With more than $ 880 billion of assets under management, real estate is a significant asset in combining investments in debt and insurance and private equity.
And he continues to build his business-to-business role, now from his main centers to his IMC district. “We’re putting the full weight of Blackstone on this and we’re good about JuniperMarket right now,” Henritze said. “This is interesting.”
Note: The story was updated in Feb. 28 would refer to Blackstone as the “best investor” than the owner of most of the advertising centers in the country.