Storefront is a startup that wants to create more of these experiences, by making it easier for anyone to find and rent short-term retail space. Today, Storefront announced raising $1.6 million in seed funding to expand into new markets, starting with New York City.
Opening a retail store can be an expensive and time-consuming process. As a result, chefs, artisans, and designers are increasingly turning to online stores or pop-up shops. The average national vacancy rates for retail space is 10 percent, which Storefront said represents nearly $20 billion in lost rent annually.
Storefront’s goal is to make starting an offline store as easy as an online store. It matches people who need retail space with people who have it, and it tries to cut down on some of the friction involved with starting a physical store. Using the site, entrepreneurs can enter their requirements and search for spaces. Each listing includes detailed descriptions of the neighborhood, photos, nearby businesses, foot traffic, and photographs. Storefront also offers flexible booking and a standardized legal process that streamlines lease agreements and insurance.
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