Mall shoppers could soon be able to learn more about their genes while they pick up some new jeans.
23andMe Inc. opened a holiday-season pop-up store last week at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara, California, where customers can buy one of the company’s DNA-testing kits and learn more about how they work and what they might reveal.
The pop-up could be merely the first 23andMe store, Chief Executive Officer Anne Wojcicki told Bloomberg last week during a visit to the space. If the experiment is successful, the company could replicate it elsewhere.
“In the future, I think that there’s all kinds of in-person experiences that would be valuable to customers,” she said. “We’ll see what the experience is like.”
At-home genetic tests have been popular holiday gifts for the past few years, as more people decide to investigate their family history by sending a saliva sample off to companies like 23andMe for analysis. 23andMe says that it’s sold more than 10 million of its kits, which retail for as much as $199, since its founding 2006.
The temporary shop opened on Oct. 1 and will remain through January. It’s located next to the mall’s Apple Store — prime real estate to attract tech-savvy shoppers curious about their genome.
“I want to know what my customers think, and this is a great way of doing it,” said Wojcicki. “What are people thinking about? What are they worried about? What are they excited about? Where does it go from here?”