There is a lot of talk about the evolving consumer path to purchase. Today’s shoppers weave back and forth from digital and physical before completing a transaction. They look to social media for trending instead of store catalogs.
However, many newer businesses are changing their path to customers, too. Inspired by the Brooklyn Flea, Bulletin originated as a shop-able digital magazine (or bulletin) featuring all the kinds of makers and designers one would expect to find at a physical flea market. Going from digital to physical, Bulletin started hosting a weekly flea in Williamsburg, Brooklyn after many requests from artisans and customers.
Now, Bulletin takes the form of a 450-square-foot brick and mortar storefront called Bulletin Broads. Instead of a traditional boutique, Bulletin Broads operates more as a highly curated, permanent flea market. Instead of stocking their own product, the entrepreneurs behind Bulletin rent out their shelf space to emerging female-led brands on a month-to-month basis.
Flea markets are natural small business incubators. Whether vendors are renting booth space or shelf space, the barrier to entry is much lower than in traditional retail. Bulletin Broads takes all the best elements of a flea market: community, entrepreneurship, collaboration, and creates maximum exposure for vendors by placing them smack-dab in the middle of downtown.
Quoted in a New York Times article, Ali Kriegsman, one of Bulletin’s founders, said: “Small brands and the local boutique shops that support women are being pushed out of strong retail neighborhoods. Real estate becomes super pricey and small business owners can’t pay to play anymore. With our rent-share model, we really hope we are lowering the barrier to entry for physical retail so places like Williamsburg can still feature amazing female designers.”
Already on their third storefront, this millennialized flea market has proven to be extremely successful for Bulletin and the emerging brands that rent space. Bulletin Broads also donates 10% of all store proceeds to Planned Parenthood NYC, in an effort to further support women in the area. Visit bulletin.co for more information or to apply as a vendor.