Mobile retail is an innovative industry on the move
So, you may want to get on board. Its major appeal for entrepreneurs wanting to break into retail? Lower startup and overhead costs, while at the same time, still being able to maintain personal interaction with customers that you just can’t get from e-commerce.
So, just how low are the startup costs? A survey conducted by The American Mobile Retail Association (AMRA) found that on average, mobile retailers spend just under $16,000 on purchasing and renovating a vehicle and $942 a month on gas, insurance and vendor fees at event spaces. That’s pennies compared to what you pay for in a brick-and-mortar space.
Currently, the AMRA has 102 members and consults for 20 to 25 aspiring mobile business owners each month. While the membership numbers are still low, it’s a number that’s expected to continue to rise as the industry itself does. Estimates show that there are at least 400 mobile retailers nationwide.
Here just are a few mobile retailers who have taken their business, and along with it their success, on the road:
Le Fashion Truck is the creation of mobile retail pioneers Stacey Jischke-Steffe and Jeanine Romo, who met at a Los Angeles arts and crafts market in 2009. The pink mobile boutique features clothing and accessories by emerging designers for the woman on the go.
Women on the go can shop handmade jewelry, handbags, accessories and more – they’ve even included a dressing room!
Blaine Vossler and Mackenzie Edgerton founded The Local Branch Co., which produces and sells its “Made Throughout America” collection of unique apparel, leather goods, accessories and more – all out of an old 1979 Airstream travel trailer.
As they travel throughout the country, each product is tagged with a description of our inspiration and the exact American location in which it was created, giving every item a truly unique heritage.
Curvy Chix Chariot is a mobile boutique that carries women’s sizes 14-24, with the latest fashionable and trendy styles in plus size clothing, handbags and accessories.
Founder Donna Hundley has seen first-hand the obstacles that plus size women face while trying to find clothing that helps them look and feel confident and sexy. And busy being a mother, student and employee, Hundley also understands how difficult it can be for women to try and fit a visit to the mall into their busy schedules.
The Bikini Bus visits homes, businesses and special events year-round to bring stylish, quality swim wear directly to consumers. It’s an unparalleled, niche business model in retail fashion dreamt up by owner and CEO Melanie Pierce.
Specializing in designs from Brazil and Miami, the Bikini Bus also carries Havaiana flip flops, San Diego hats, versatile cover-ups, and fashion jewelry that complement the wide selection of bikinis, tankinis and one-piece suits available for sale.