In July the team at Grabr launched a brand new iOS app designed to connect shoppers and travelers with global shopping experiences.
Grabr is a collective of travelers and consumers who are matched based on their destination and ‘grabs,’ items you want to buy saved on the app.
It started when Daria Rebenok, the CEO and co-founder Grabr, wanted a wine from Spain that she and her husband could not find in San Francisco or on the Internet. If she wanted to get the wine, she would need to have a friend or family member bring it to her.
That’s how Grabr was born–satisfying a need that can only be found internationally, and paying someone to share space in his or her suitcase.
Rebenok and I spoke on the phone while she was in Barcelona, Spain and says she launched the app when she started to notice increasing levels of demand from countries around the world.
People were using it to shop for an array items from turquoise jewelry to rugs to Beyoncé Knowles’ new clothing line.
Beyoncé’s collection, Ivy Park, was sold exclusively through Topshop, and Rebenok says consumers in Vietnam and South Korea could not find Beyonce’s line otherwise, so they used Grabr to buy the items of their choice.
“It’s changing the way people shop,” Rebenok says. “People in emerging markets don’t have access because stores are not online and there are no brick-and-mortars.”
Shoppers in need of a hard-to-find item can use the Grabr app in a few of ways.
A shopper can post a manual ‘grab’ online, stating what they are looking for, a picture, their price range and what city and country they want it from.
The shopper also includes their price point, and how much they are willing to reward the traveler for sharing the space in their suitcase.
The Grabr team has also curated some collections from around the world, and link with a traveler who is going to a near by city.
Lastly, the shopper can place a link to an online or brick and mortar store for an item they do not have access to in their home.
Rebenok also considers it a new subset of the sharing economy because if your on the traveler end of the relationship, now you have a local on the ground who can give you a ride from the airport, take you to lunch or dinner as a “thank you,” and tips and tricks about the city you’re exploring.
Rebenok says Grabr is making its New York Fashion Week debut this fall. There are plans to collaborate with designers and fashion bloggers so shoppers can grab items straight off of the runway.