October 22, 2014: Mobile Business
Off to a Rolling Start: Want to open a clothing store? First, hit the road.
We’ve talked before about the number of businesses, following the lead of modern-day food trucks, that have taken to the road, many with the intention to stay a mobile business.
But like many food entrepreneurs who used trucks as a way to launch cheaply and build brand awareness, now retailers of women’s clothing are hitting the road with the same hopes and dreams.
A recent article on Business Insider says the concept of fashion trucks “has exploded in the past year.” In fact, according to the American Mobile Retail Association (AMRA), there are about 500 such trucks selling clothing and accessories across the country.
One savvy entrepreneur, Jessie Goldenberg, launched Nomad in New York City inspired by a segment she saw on The Today Show. Goldenberg bought an old clothing delivery truck on Craigslist, and according to Business Insider, “took out some loans, got some credit cards and crowdsourced $5,000” to get started. She promoted her new business on social media, spending about $70,000 in all to launch. She broke even in less than nine months.
Goldenberg told Business Insider if she had opened a shop in Brooklyn, her startup costs would have ranged from $100,000 to $150,000. What’s more, her monthly rent would be about $12,000, instead of the $1,000 she spends on gas, maintenance and parking.
The website also profiles a Los Angeles-based fashion truck, Le Fashion Truck, which got its start selling vintage clothing at a local farmer’s market. The partners who launched that business also founded the AMRA “as a way to keep the trend from being a craze that [burns] out after a year or two.”
Apparently the industry trend is that fashion trucks last about two years, after which entrepreneurs either move on to a different business or go from truck to store.
Want to learn more about fashion trucks or check out the competition near you? The industry has spawned a directory, The Fashion Truck Finder.