Micro Retail

We’ve discussed micro housing units a lot, but what about micro retail? The current issue of Metropolis has a nice feature on how micro retail developments are helping first time business owners and independent entrepreneurs get started.

In Chicago, a development called Boombox helps “bridge the gap between start-up and storefront.” It runs out of shipping containers, somewhat similar to the Proxy development we visited in Hayes Valley.

In Toronto, Honest Ed’s Alley slices through a mixed-use development not unlike some of your schemes for connecting 3rd Street and Illinois Street. The developer says these “micro retail incubators” are affordable and short-term enough to encourage  Say the developer: “It’s like trying to buy your first home. Your second home is way easier, but your first home is a bigger hurdle to jump over.”

And in San Francisco, Target’s Open House store collaborates with Indiegogo “to display and sell successfully crowdfunded connected-home gadgets.” That’s a pretty interesting model: a retail behemoth essentially acting as a showroom for a bunch of scrappy inventors and entrepreneurs.


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