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Will fashion trucks be the next retail trend?

Taking their cue from their food truck brethren, fashion trucks are mobile boutiques that have the option to travel from one location to another, opening their business on wheels and allowing customers to try on their wares.

Will fashion trucks be the next retail trend?At left, Claire Bouvier, Will Hodgkiss and Niki Hodgkiss pose for the camera at the Loft Girls mobile fashion truck. Photo courtesy of Venture Food Trucks.

Will Hodgkiss is the CEO and owner of Venture Food Trucks based in Napanee, Ontario, Canada

By Will Hodgkiss

In the last few years, food trucks have blown up across the world as a fresh and innovative way to serve food. Mobile food business owners came up with diverse business concepts, from sushi bar trucks to mobile wood fired pizza. It is a fact that starting a food business is much more inexpensive in a mobile concession truck than starting a restaurant. It costs around $65,000 to $100,000 to open a food truck compared to $500,000 and more for an actual restaurant space.

Now the question we are asking today, is "Are fashion trucks on that same path"? I think the answer is, "Yes!"

Fashion trucks are mobile boutiques that have the option to travel from one location to another, opening their business on wheels and selling to customers just like that! Most fashion trucks have a fitting room and some are even equipped with air conditioning.

There are several reasons that fashion trucks can be a favorable alternative to a traditional clothing store.

1. Cost of the business

The initial investment for a boutique on wheels is about $30,000 to $60,000 versus at least a $100,000 investment in a traditional retail shop.

2. Freedom of choice

Potentially, in these types of trucks, you will be able to sell a variety of clothing, from representing the local designers' fashions to your organic line of apparel. You can also participate in "pop up shops" and have other artists and businesses join you.

3. Flexible hours

You can choose your shop hours and maximize your working time during the busiest hours. In a traditional brick-and-mortar location, you must be in the store whether customers are coming in or not.

4. Reaching customers where they are

Participating in special events, you can find and connect with the right crowd of people who are interested in what you are selling. For example, if you sell upcycled clothing, it makes sense to be at an art show, or if you sell trendy clothing, a music festival might be a great spot for you.

5. The concept has already been proven

Yes, the concept has already been proven. Claire Bouvier and Niki Hodgkiss launched the Loft Girls, a mobile fashion truck operating in Ontario, Canada, two years ago. That truck features fashion-forward curated vintage clothing, new custom pieces, and local, handmade items. 

Bouvier brought experience as a fashion retailer while Hodgkiss brought experience in food truck manufacturing.

The Loft Girls has been involved in special events and shows, and it has earned a local Young Entrepreneur Award. Hodgkiss and Bouvier have even expanded the business by hosting an Eco Fashion Runway Show in Kingston, Ontario.

Could the fashion truck industry be the next retail trend, one that will bring fashion to people in a new and exciting way?



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