Public.Factory’s co-retailing concept gives start-ups a leg up
With the opening last fall of its first location at the SoHo Grand hotel in NYC, Public.Factory declared itself to be the first company taking the sharing economy to the retail world.
The startup, which has since opened a second location in SoHo and will open a third in San Francisco’s Union Square this year, leases large spaces and subdivides them for short-term rental to emerging designers and entrepreneurs.
The concept came to Founder Yazid Aksas, who owns the menswear label, Beau.com, after he experienced his own challenges opening a store on West Broadway. Requirements often include a ten-year lease, 12-month deposit and add-on construction and design costs.
Working much like WeWork, the co-working collaboration space, renters at the SoHo Grand pay a monthly fee of $3,000 for about 100-square-feet of space. The “Plug & Sell” solution provides spots that are fully set-up and ready to use, covering furniture, fixtures, electricity and other basic costs, and even provides a sales staff. Renters must commit to at least three months but can renew indefinitely. A brand can pull out with one-month’s notice.
Public.Factory writes on its website, “This turnkey solution is every brand’s dream. A dream where they only have to focus on product and marketing to grow their business.”
The SoHo Grand hotel, which filled all its spots two months before opening, features 12 men’s wear labels, including Beau.com. The second SoHo location focuses on 16 upcoming women’s fashion and beauty start-ups, while the San Francisco space will stock 20 tech brands.
Renters also benefit from the traffic heading to other brands in the space. The community of brands can collaborate on marketing and PR initiatives, including hosted events.
“My vision is to enable any brand to have a retail presence anywhere in the world,” wrote Mr. Aksas on his blog. “And I want that to happen within a couple of days for less than what it would cost them to open one store on their own.”
- Yazid Aksas Blog
- A WeWork for young fashion designers to debut in SoHo – Crain’s New York
- Spotlight: Public.Factory Offers Co-Retailing Space for Brands – Small Business Trends
- Young Designers Who Can’t Afford Retail Rents Now Have a Store of Their Own – Racked.com
- Co-Retailing Menswear Space Public Factory To Launch Shoppable Website – Fashion Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does the Public.Factory shared space model have legs? What do you see as the upside and downside for renters and shoppers?