Thought Leadership

Q&A With Lex Kendall, Founder and COO of New Stand

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January 30, 2020

At FLI Charge, we want to redefine the future of power delivery. So in our search for partners, we went looking for someone who was redefining the future of retail. And we found New Stand – the forward-thinking, convenient (but definitely not a convenience store) spot to shop for interesting things.

New Stand knows retail. But, more importantly, they know people. Having mastered the balance of physical and digital relationships with their clients, New Stand is constantly seeking ways to leverage that knowledge to help brands (like us) launch cool and innovative products.

As one of our first partners, they’ve helped FLI Charge put power into the hands of New York City commuters – working together with FLI Charge to roll out a one-of-a-kind SwapCharge program offering free power when you need it most. We caught up with Lex Kendall, New Stand founder and COO, to learn more about why New Stand and FLI Charge just make sense together.

First, tell us more about New Stand. What inspired you to bring this idea to life in a city like New York?

Being in service of people on a daily basis is really our end goal. So [we] thought, “why not use these amazing distribution points to be able to build a real relationship with people?” So we started building a “day improvement” company and imagining ways we could be of service to people, to modern professionals. In New York City, we’re running around at a thousand miles per hour, but we always need something - whether it’s a bottle of water, a snack, an awesome last minute gift that someone’s curated for us, or a service like a mobile charger. So we got started in New York City subways.

How did FLI Charge fit into your business idea? What issues are those products helping you to solve?

As much as we’re a retailer that’s trying to move product, we’re deeply concerned with being able to provide products that reduce waste and are more of a shared economy model.

Talk a little about the SwapCharge program you launched with FLI Charge – allowing your customers to borrow a FLI Bank for free when they need power.

In checking out the product it seemed like there was a real opportunity to create a powerbank [at New Stand]. And the SwapCharge program was born there, which is to say, you don’t buy these things, this is about lending them to members and having a really beautiful platform that reduces operations and operational intensity – because all you need to do is throw it down on a pad and it starts charging.

The way it works is you go into your wallet on the New Stand app, you point your camera at the unique QR code printed on the back of the power bank, and it’s yours for free. If you decide to hang onto it for more than 72 hours, we charge your wallet $20.

And are people liking that?

People just love it. For a number of reasons. It signals that we have their back. It’s one of those big pain points in modern life, keeping our devices charged. So having a little store downstairs in your lobby or at an airport to charge up before you get on the plane… it’s great.

Last question for you. How are you growing the partnership with FLI Charge? What’s next?

FLI Charge came into our lives in a big way with the SwapCharge program that we co-developed. And it continues to grow. Now we’ve launched our first enterprise client and we’re putting private New Stands onto the floors of those enterprises. As we expand our offerings we’re using FLI Charge’s new enterprise pads… and the need for cables and waste has been eliminated.  [We] send these products, these pads, to enterprise clients to test and they say, “oh wow, I can’t live without it now.”

You can learn more about New Stand at newstand.com. And discover what our enterprise products can do here.

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