Imagine walking into your local laundromat, tossing your clothes in the machine and heading to the other side of the store to order a coffee and dinner. What about shopping at a boutique while also ordering beers. These are strange combinations of businesses, but they are also part of a growth trend of hybrid small businesses that are breathing new life it the brick-and-mortar retail sector.
A recent article from the New York Daily News profiled several different stores in New York that are using the combination approach. This includes shops that offer housewares and brunch, bike repair and coffee or beer and a bike rental shop that offer fresh juice and coffee.
The idea, according to Brian Gluck, the owner of Red Lantern, a Brooklyn bike repair shop that is also a coffee house, is born out of a concept he was told when he was just starting out — every inch of a business should be able to make money. In a day and age where many brick-and-mortar locations are struggling, maximizing profit in your space is crucial.
"All brick-and-mortar retailers are going to have to create some kind of entertainment experience so consumers stop shopping on the Internet and go to the store," says Robin Lewis, CEO of the Robin Report, a retail newsletter.
These new kinds of businesses are starting to gain traction, but they come with additional challenges to run. Organizations need to make sure that they have the right software and credit card payment processor in place to be able to manage multiple forms of business under one roof.