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Shop Talk: Bank of the Orient moving in; beam bots head to Stanford

The latest retail news

BANK OF ORIENT MOVING IN... The new mixed-use building at the corner of El Camino Real and College Avenue has secured a first-floor tenant. San Francisco-based Bank of the Orient is opening its first Palo Alto branch at the three-story building at 2209 El Camino Real that the city approved in 2015, allowing for financial services on the ground floor, offices on the second and residential units on the third. Since its founding in 1971, Bank of the Orient has opened branches in San Francisco, Oakland and Millbrae, but not along the Peninsula. The office will mostly focus on construction and commercial loans, according to the leasing office. The bank will likely open the new 1,200-square-foot branch next spring after interior construction of the building is complete. "We haven't got a final date (for opening) yet, because we are still working on the design and the layout," developer Karen Kam said. — A.C.

BEAM BOTS HEAD TO STANFORD... Beam Store, the futuristic Jetson's-like store staffed entirely by employees located in remote locations around the world who communicated with customers through mobile robots that roamed the floor, has closed its downtown location at 425 University Ave. Suitable Technologies opened the store three years ago as a six-month pop-up to demonstrate its Beam Smart Presence System technology first-hand by letting anyone visiting the store try out their telepresence robots. The site quickly became a destination for tech tours organized by local institutions and consulting groups for business leaders and students from around the world. Spokesman Tyler Hoffman said Suitable Technologies closed the store on Oct. 20 after the building's property manager notified the company that it intends to renovate the building for other uses. According to an Oct. 16 ad in a Paly student magazine, the Beam robots have moved into the Microsoft store at Stanford Shopping Center. Hoffman said the company plans to bring its robots to more retail locations and will conduct demonstration tours of its products at its Palo Alto headquarters on East Charlston Road. Stay tuned for more details at a later date. — A.C.

ONLINE 'UNDIES' GET PHYSICAL... Online underwear company MeUndies opened its first physical store at Stanford Shopping Center (across from Macy's) on Oct. 25. The 1,729-square-foot pop-up shop is scheduled to remain open until February 2018, according to the company's website. The new store will feature the same underwear, socks and lounge wear found on the company website, as well as newly released designs, seasonal items and other in-store perks, including exclusive discounts and weekly VIP events. Founded in 2011, the L.A.-based company has built an international following with its wide selection of super-soft underwear made from sustainable, micromodal fabric and a subscription program that delivers a new pair of underwear to members at the same time every month. Company founder Jonathan Shokrian experienced his "aha moment" that led to the launch the lifestyle brand six years ago after searching unsuccessfully to find a few pairs of comfortable underwear before a business trip. Since then, the company has delivered more than 1 million pairs of men's and women's underwear. — L.T.

Compiled by the Weekly staff; this week written by Alexandria Cavallaro and Linda Taaffe. Got leads on interesting and news-worthy retail developments? The Weekly will check them out. Email shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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4 people like this
Posted by Spelling?
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 2, 2017 at 11:44 pm

Where is Charlston Road?


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