Our Client ‘Bulletin’ has the store for your goods | NYC
When Bulletin Broads opened in the Williamsburg storefront at 145 Wythe Ave. earlier this year, it was described as “Brooklyn’s new west feminist store.” The well-designed, faux-fur-lined interior holds 40 different brands–products made for women, by women—ranging from graphic tees to artwork.
Bulletin’s co-founders Ali Kriegsman and Alana Branston came up with the concept as a direct response to the current political climate. But the Trump Administration isn’t the only thing these two Brooklyn-based women are taking on. Inspired by Brooklyn’s flea- and pop-up markets, Kriegsman and Branston are out to prove, both to the startup world and New York’s commercial real-estate industry, that innovative retail can be a good business, even as online shopping threatens to wipe it out.
Bulletin envisions itself as the “WeWork of retail,” in which businesses, particularly online brands, could rent sections of a Bulletin store on a month-to-month basis. Within that space, vendors get to decide which products get sold, how they’re priced, and how they’re
displayed. Revolving around a feminist theme lends to the “experiential retail” that provides an attractive alternative to online shopping.
The company expanded across the river in August, opening its second Bulletin Broads store, at 27 Prince St. in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood, and have set up a small headquarters nearby.
If a good business idea is one that provides the solution to a problem, Bulletin is tackling many of them at once. It’s providing affordable retail space as New York’s high commercial rents have become prohibitive for small businesses. It’s also supporting those vendors as they make the transition from the online marketplace to an actual store—with a sales split of 70% going back to the vendor.
Bulletin is also fine-tuning the concept of “experiential retail” as online shopping further threatens the traditional retail store. That requires carefully curating the merchandise. At the Williamsburg store, the current lineup features “cute T’s, pithy pins, pussy prints, feminist zines, shower caps, period products and more,” as the website says, curated carefully by the founders.
Events are part of the mix. Every Tuesday, the store hosts a “Write Your Rep” night, encouraging citizens to get in touch with their legislators, and thanking participants with a free rose. “We believe the internet has changed what a store is for,” Kriegsman said.
Their idea–and execution of it–has won attention from the tech industry. Bulletin announced in May that it raised $2.2 million in seed funding from investors including Silicon Valley powerhouse Kleiner Perkins. They plan to open two more stores in New York soon and one in Los Angeles next year.
- Sources here