Airbnb for retail spaces Storefront raised $7.3 million from a round of venture funding led by Spark Capital. The site allows short-term rental of retail sites for as little as $50 dollars a day. The target audience is budding businesses looking to launch their retail sites, or more established brands looking for a pop-up store. Clients have ranged from Nike, Kanye West, and Nasty Gal to Etsy users.
Online-first retailers such as Warby Parker, Birchbox and jewelry brand BaubleBar have opened temporary locations, highlighting the benefits of having brick-and-mortar locations. Storefronts CEO Erik Eliason says the site users get on average a $7 return on each dollar spent on store rental.
L2’s Mobile & Tablet event, held last week at The Modern, emphasized how the return of mobile device and desktop sales should be measured by online and offline sales they influence, rather than purchases made on the device. Studies of user habits reveal that many use the devices to research and make a decision before walking into a brick-and-mortar store. As Warby Parker’s success has proven, the reverse can be true as well. And testing that out has become easier and cheaper with Storefront.