Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Fashion Truck - A Mobile Boutique & Retail Trend From the Runway to the Roadway

Have you ever heard of a fashion truck?

One of the most helpful benefits of blogging is the sharing of information. By reading daily blog posts written by the people I follow, I get the opportunity to learn about all kinds of new and interesting things. I eagerly peruse my blog reading list every morning and can’t wait to discover some exciting new tidbit.

One such post I came across the other day on Fashion Over Fifty was about fashion trucks. I admit, I was not familiar with the term 'fashion truck', although I knew quite a bit about the trendy food trucks.

Just from the little information I read in her post, I knew that fashion trucks seemed like a topic I wanted to learn more about -- so off I went to the trusty google to see what I could find.

As I was researching the many trucks and their market niche, do you know the one thing I noticed that was missing??  C’mon take a guess. Yep, I did not see one single truck whose focus was on women over 50 (well I did see one that said it was for women up to 54 – which of course still leaves me out).
What a perfect business opportunity for some of us entrepreneurial types. With the number of retiring baby boomers on the rise - This is a very lucrative and untapped market!!

In 2011, the first of the baby boom generation reached what used to be known as retirement age (65) and for the next 18 years, boomers will be turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day!

The birth of the fashion truck
The trend began in 2010 when designer brands like Alice + Olivia and Cynthia Rowley took their collections on the road. Later, discount chain Marshalls featured a fashion truck on its television advertisements.

There are now about 400 fashion trucks across the country. There is even an ‘easily find a boutique on wheels’ online directory. The directory helps you quickly locate mobile fashion boutiques operating in the US and Internationally.

Fashion Trucks are a mobile retail revolution
These mobile fashion boutiques are popping up across the country from Los Angeles to New York, and in everywhere in between.

Combining the convenience of online shopping with the ability to try on clothes before you buy, this concept is popular in urban centers from coast to coast.
Customers aren't the only ones who benefit from this type of business, either. Owning a mobile shop allows the owners to avoid the tremendous overhead costs of a fixed boutique, and it gives them a chance to break into the highly competitive fashion industry. "It's really been something that we've been able to control ourselves, which has been really freeing as business owners," remarked one of the fashion-truckers from Denver.
Opportunity knocks in the San Francisco Bay Area
If you find yourself in San Francisco this summer, be sure to add TopShelf to the top of your itinerary. Just making its debut this past May, gals can head to the trendy spot "where fashion rolls," and score flirty, feminine styles while browsing amidst the pretty, pink ambiance. Owner Christina Ruiz believes trucks like TopShelf will continue to have a future in fashion, citing that "Times are changing ... so it's only natural that the traditional ways people [shop] will change too."

And since they're not fighting for foot traffic, fashion trucks often congregate to give the consumer a variety of options. Sometimes, they even park alongside a row of food trucks, giving shoppers the option of picking up a new blouse on their lunch hour.

The fashion truck concept is very intriguing so I also did a location check and found that there are far fewer trucks in the San Francisco area than in the LA area so this could be an endeavor I would consider upon retirement (in about 2 years).  Of course there is a conflict between the fashion truck and moving to Costa Rica, but it is always good to have a plan B.  I've always had an interest in fashion and I am inspired by the challenge. 

We shall see.

For more on this fashionable new trend, check out the video below.

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