Bulletin Provides Easy Rentals in Shared Retail Spaces
As retailers continue to build up their ecommerce efforts, they are also taking new forays into brick-and-mortar stores. Whether it’s opening pop-up stores to launch new products, or online-only retailers experimenting with physical stores, there is still strong demand for prime retail locations and storefronts with heavy foot traffic.
But boutique and independent brands still blanche at the sky-high rental rates required for popular retail spaces. This is where Bulletin comes in. A two-year-old Y Combinator fellowship company, Bulletin provides flexible and affordable shared retail spaces, dividing its owned physical locations into multiple sections of various sizes, including shelf spaces and racks and tables for displaying products from different brands. Retailers can rent a section or fixture of their choice by paying a month-by-month rental fee.
To get started, retailers need to apply online so Bulletin can confirm whether their products are a good fit its stores. If approved, retailers then ship their products to Bulletin and complete an onboarding process. According to the startup, it usually takes no more than five days for most sellers’ merchandise to get into their stores. Sellers do not need to be in the vicinity; they have access to real-time dashboards that provide up-to-the-minute sales data, inventory management information, and product feedback.
A flexible retail rental solution like Bulletin has advantages for both sellers and buyers. Companies can get their products up and selling quickly, instead of waiting months to hear the results of a pitch to legacy department stores or other traditional retail locations. More importantly, they can avoid getting locked into long-term leases by paying only a month-to-month rental fee — something that is particularly beneficial for online-only retailers testing out brick-and-mortar market potential or brands that sell seasonal products. Bulletin’s model benefits customers as well. It allows them to walk into a store and shop from a variety of products from different brands. The merchandise changes frequently, providing shoppers with different store experiences every time they visit.
Bulletin was founded in 2015 by Alana Branston and Ali Kriegsman. The startup has raised capital from Y Combinator, Notation Capital, Halogen Ventures and Jesse Draper, creator and host of “The Valley Girl Show” and CEO of Valley Girl, Inc. Bulletin currently has a 2,000 sq.ft retail space in the heart of Soho, New York City, and another storefront in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The company is planning expansion to other cities including Los Angeles and Portland.