The New York Times article Shops on Wheels, but the Goods aren't Sold From the Trunk covers the growing trend towards trucks being used as mobile retail/service outlets.
The article features the fashion truck Nomad, which we covered last year in our article The Rise of Fashion Trucks, as well as Bootleg, which we covered several years ago in our article The Advantages of Truck-Based Commerce.
The key article quote goes to the heart of why mobile retail is becoming more popular - lower costs and risks - and comes from the founder of Nomad:
“I had very briefly considered opening a brick-and-mortar,” Ms. Goldenberg said. “But after working at a small boutique in Brooklyn and observing the overhead and seasonal cash flow, I knew it would be too much of a risk for me just starting out. Having the truck involved a lower total start-up cost and felt a lot less risky.”
In addition to increasing numbers of mobile retail trucks, there are other signals truck-based commerce is moving from the fringe towards the mainstream.
Examples include the formation of a truck-based commerce trade association - The American Mobile Retail Association - and a growing number of companies providing related services such as The Fashion Truck Finder.
When we released our research report on food trucks in 2012 we recognized that food trucks were part of a broader shift to mobile retail. Key quote from the report:
Food trucks are also the leading edge of a broader trend toward mobile, truck-based commerce. Entrepreneurs in a wide range of other product and service categories, such as clothing, personal services and even business to business goods and servicesare recognizing the economic advantages of food trucks and applying this approach ... Emergent Research expects the broader mobile
commerce segment to also rapidly expand over the next five years.
See our Food Trucks/Mobile Commerce section for more on this topic.