The changing face of brick and mortar retail: Collective retailers create small business incubators

Date
2018-01-01
Authors
LoMonaco-Benzing, Rachel
Norum, Pamela
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Abstract

This study explores independent collective retailers who share space and other resources with local entrepreneurs, as they have the potential to address concerns in the brick and mortar retail environment and strengthen independent retailers' long-term viability. As such, the study focused on understanding whether or not collective retailers exhibit a new retail format, what strategies they use, and what benefits and challenges owners and members experience. Five retailers were included, each representing a different region of the U.S. Data included interviews with owners, managers, and members, in-store observations, and online content. The results indicate that collective retailers have combined aspects of cooperative, antique mall, flea market, and boutique formats, developing strategies to weather tough economic times and make the most of changing environments. Taking what works best from each format, they attract a wide range of consumers and reduce risks for themselves and members. They also provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

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