Tigertree Launching Mobile Retail TruckBusiness Profiles — By Susan Post on June 13, 2014 at 8:00 am
Short North boutique, Tigertree, is expanding with a mobile retail truck scheduled to be cruising the streets of Columbus within the next month.
The truck will house Tigertree’s unique mix of cards, gifts, accessories, apothecary and home decor similar to what’s found in the brick-and-mortar location. Store owner Josh Quinn made the decision not to include apparel in the truck, making more room for the other facets of their line that are just as important to the brand.
“I think it’s a great point of entry for our brand for people that haven’t been introduced to it,” Quinn says of the truck’s selection.
Quinn was contemplating a second Tigertree location, but finding a good spot proved difficult. He didn’t want to cannibalize on existing sales and questioned the time and challenges that came with expanding into another city. A mobile retail truck ended up being the perfect solution.
“We’d really been struggling with finding the right solutions for finding ways to grow the company and [the truck] filled a lot of those boxes for us,” Quinn says. A truck affords the boutique an opportunity to explore different neighborhoods in Columbus while getting a feel for the market and reaction to the product line.
Quinn is excited to introduce the brand to new communities in Central Ohio. Many business owners assume they have reached their audience, but with Columbus’s growing population, he says that’s never really the case.
“Introducing people to your brand is a job you have to do constantly,” Quinn says. A mobile truck serves as a great advertising and informational tool for the store.
A mobile enterprise was also a lower barrier to entry financially for Tigetree than expanding to expanding to a second brick-and-mortar shop. Quinn sees the lower cost of mobile locations as a big contributor to the growing trend of both mobile retail and food trucks - a trend he hopes continues. ”I hope to see more of it,” he says.
In addition to exposure to new customer bases, Quinn sees advantages to mobile trucks in areas with high foot traffic. Any impediment, like construction, can deter customers. Others might visit a crowded area for just one store or block, but mobile vendors could provide incentive to keep walking. “I think that mobile retail and food is a great resource to fill in some of those gaps,” he says.
Tigertree is one of several local businesses utilizing ECDI’s resources to develop their mobile enterprises. Quinn enjoys being around other entrepreneurs that are learning the finer points of business-on-the-go. “It’s pretty inspiring to be not only around the staff and people that work here, but the business that are starting up here,” he says.
Tigertree is eager to get on the road. The store is on board for the July Moonlight Market but may make some appearances before the July 12 date.
For more information, visit shoptigertree.com.