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Frisco STYLE Magazine

Here Comes Santa

Dec 01, 2021 ● By Lisa Sciortino

Santa arrived early this year in Frisco – very early.

In September, colorful delivery trucks for a new mobile shopping app called Santa began rolling through the streets of Frisco and Plano as part of a pilot program that company leaders say was successful. In the months since, it has expanded to include McKinney, Prosper, Allen and Fairview. 

Different than online shopping, Santa functions similar to traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores, albeit one that travels to shoppers rather than the other way around.

After downloading the app (available for iOS at getsanta.com), users are alerted via text when one of Santa’s trucks cruises through their neighborhood. They open the app and browse a selection of items – from clothing and shoes to home décor and high-end electronics, among others, in a range of prices – that has been curated specifically for them. 

Within minutes, Santa’s rig arrives at their home. A personal shopper, who travels aboard the truck, delivers the requested goods to the door and walks customers through their selections before inquiring about other merchandise in which the customer may be interested. 

Santa shoppers can deliberate potential purchases. Clothing may be tried on in the comfort of their home and décor items placed to determine whether they’re a good fit in a specific space. If so, their purchases are confirmed and charged within the app. If not, items can be handed back to the personal shopper on the spot or a return can be scheduled later. The Santa truck will revisit their home within a few days to retrieve the merchandise.

The Santa app is the brainchild of a trio of business entrepreneurs and innovators. Co-founder and CEO Roee Adler, an Israeli software engineer, previously had a hand in several startup companies before joining flexible-workspace giant WeWork as its chief product officer in 2013. Four years later, he oversaw the creation of WeWork Labs, the company’s global digital platform.

In devising the Santa app, Adler says he and his partners wondered “about suburban life as something that people (turn) to in order to improve the quality of their life and to be surrounded by facilities that they and their families and their communities enjoy. But sometimes on that path, there are some things that you give up,” such as convenience. 

“We thought to ourselves, what if the store could simply come to you with those things that you desire, and what if the experience included an actual, experienced personal shopper and was at timeframes that would feel right – as in minutes – and that’s what we set out to build.”

The goal, he explains, was to “try to take the premium shopping experience that you desire to have when you drive to your most favorite stores and get (items) into your home within minutes when it’s convenient.” 

In determining where to launch Santa’s services, Adler says Frisco and Plano were among 1,400 small U.S. communities considered by the company’s “data nerds” who used “complex statistical data” to rank the locales based on “aspects that relate to quality of life. The Plano-Frisco area literally came up first,” he said. 

Members of the company’s team “started having conversations with friends” who call the cities home. “Every piece of information we got was … just awesome,” he says, and they learned “that people move there because it’s great in so many ways.” 

 Adler and other Santa team members made repeat visits to Frisco prior to the app’s launch. He “met so many amazing people locally. I spent time in different neighborhoods, slept in Airbnbs in different areas of the city. … The hospitality and the sense of welcome that I felt there was truly, truly humbling.” 

Based in North Texas, Santa has employees working here as well as in Israel (including Adler, who spoke with Frisco STYLE via a video call from Tel Aviv) and on the East Coast. Several staffers boast resumes that include stints working for such big brands as J. Crew and Anthropologie. 

When it comes to stocking Santa’s trucks with goods, “Our DNA in that regard is … of constant freshness,” Adler explains. “There are some basics you always want, (but) part of what’s cool in life is to be surprised by great, high-quality things. We very intentionally update our selections constantly.” Kitchen appliances, he says, have proven to be an especially popular purchase among Santa shoppers.

Santa is dedicated to carrying products crafted by North Texas artisans and small businesses alongside the national and international brands it also offers. While visiting Frisco and surrounding cities, Adler (who was set to return here this month) spends time sourcing “amazing local goods. … I just love to visit the local shops and meet the local makers to make sure that we can indeed have their products in our collection.”

Adler is a big fan of the stylish, eco-friendly, high-end women’s hats from Ferrah, a Dallas-based clothing line helmed by designer Lela Orr, who appeared on season 17 of the reality series Project Runway. (“Even I can pull them off,” he jokes.) 

Like a kid on Christmas Eve, Adler is excitedly anticipating a successful inaugural holiday shopping season for Santa. “We really hope that with the curation of our products, we always serve real needs,” he says, “because we hope to become part of your routine (and) come visit you with some frequency that you enjoy and that is actually relevant for you.”

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