– By Regina Schrambling. This article originally appeared on SecondAct.com. –
First food trucks gave eager young chefs a route into the restaurant world. Now a new fleet of entrepreneurs is close behind with seriously cool mobile retail.
On weekends, one of the hippest places to shop in SoHo In New York sits at the corner of Broadway and Prince, with street artists to the west, trendy stores all around and an endless stream of tourists and shoppers flowing past on the sidewalk. Danceable music pulses out of speakers to stop the human stream long enough for it to notice a show window with graphic T-shirts and collectible toys on display. And every few minutes, a passerby becomes a patron, handing over $35 in cash for a tee and providing a smiling photo op – everyone who buys is snapped with a Canon digital camera, his/her visage to be posted on a website.
But this is no ordinary boutique: It’s on wheels, and that window is cut into the side of a converted DHL truck. Despite the name emblazoned on either side – Cookies-n-Cream – it sells nothing edible. The three entrepreneurs behind it are focusing instead on tees and toys pushed to a hip-hop soundtrack while scheming to take boutique trucks to more cities.
As the startup’s creative director, Ganiu Ladejobi, says: “We’re at the intersection of cool and cooler.”
ANATOMY OF A RETAIL TRUCK
With a “real” store, you need months of rent up front, a showroom, a stockroom and a full-time staff. Go the truck route and the startup costs drop fast. Consider the Cookies-n-Cream tab: