Are Fashion Trucks the next Food Trucks?

teresa 10 300x199 Are Fashion Trucks the next Food Trucks?Are fashion trucks the next foods trucks? When we started The Fashion Mobile we weren’t thinking about that at all. We were just thinking a fashion truck would be a great way to open a store without a traditional brick and mortar space. But as more and more people have found out about this emerging trend, selling fashion instead of food, it got me thinking.

I mean, a couple of years ago food trucks were just starting to get really popular. There were some that did well but there just wasn’t that many of them. Then all of a sudden things just took off! Food trucks were popping up all over the place. Everything from fish tacos, pulled pork sandwiches and cupcakes to wood fired pizzas and gourmet burgers.

The growth rate must be huge in that industry and for good reason. If you want to start a food sale business it has to be a heck of a lot cheaper to do it in a truck than to actually open a restaurant. I’ve read that it takes anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 to open a food truck compared to $500,000 and more for an actual restaurant space. So are fashion trucks on that same path? I think so. Here’s why.

Why More People May Choose to Open Fashion Trucks

Cost. I think that the number one reason will be the cost. Realistically you can start a mobile store for about $20,000 or less. If you do a lot of the work you can save even more. There is absolutely no way that you could open a retail store for that amount when you figure in the long term lease, utilities and build outs. Plus, you are probably going to have employees to hire as you can’t work there every single second its open. That really gets expensive.

Choice. Another reason is the freedom to choose what you will be able to sell in it. As the owner you can sell whatever you want at whatever price you want to. Wanna have a sale? You can do that. Wanna sell homemade jewelry or vintage dresses? You can do that too. Wanna sell only items made in the USA? Go right ahead. No one can prevent you from having the type of store you want to have. It will be totally up to you.

Limited hours. With a fashion truck you can choose your hours and spend them at events, shows and outings that you know people will be at and are shopping. The battle of finding customers and getting them to come into your store is greatly reduced when you’re at a place where people are already shopping. Or if you offer the option of appearing at home parties your customers are already there when you show up.

There are some downsides. Maintaining a vehicle, bad weather, zoning and licensing laws and the newness of it. But I would argue that the positives outweigh the negatives and that anyone who is interested in opening a retail store seriously give this option a look. Fashion trucks are catching on fast and my be the next big thing.



{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy S October 23, 2012 at 2:12 am

Just curious since you are in an area with harsh winters (as am I)…what is your game plan to ensure you aren’t losing revenue during the snowy season?

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Teresa admin October 23, 2012 at 2:15 am

We’ll still do home shows but just bring all the merchandise inside. We’ll also do alternative type of events that don’t necessarily need the truck there.

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Cathy S November 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Thanks for the response! I have another quick question for you if you don’t mind…what are the dimensions of your truck (the entire truck size and also the actual space dedicated for selling)?

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Teresa admin November 20, 2012 at 4:28 am

Truck is 18′ long, 9′ tall and 7′ wide. Box is 7′ wide by 10′ long by 73 inches tall.

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Will December 5, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Hello again…your website has been so helpful. My wife and I plan on opening our truck this month! We just need help finding business insurance. Any suggestions you have would be great. Thank you

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Teresa admin December 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Just ask the person that did your auto insurance for some general business liability insurance and some contents insurance for your merchandise. Where are you located?

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will December 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I am in Florida. Thank you.

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Misty December 13, 2012 at 5:32 pm

What is the corect name for the vehicle? I have been searching locally for a Box truck and keeps bringing up moving trucks I want more like a old food vendor like u have. I want to have it to take to events and festival with me . Any advice be much appreciated my items are homemade at this point b ut will expand.

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Teresa admin December 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm

It’s called a step van.

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Brittny February 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Hello thank you very much for the info. I’m so in love with this idea and cant wait to get started. May I ask about the zoning and licences this the subject that is confussing me the most.I’m located in Louisiana and that will be the primary location of the truck but I will also travel to Mississippi. Any advice you can share about z and l would be great.Thank you!!!

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Teresa admin February 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Zoning varies wildly with every city so you have to check with each one.

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Janice W March 16, 2013 at 3:47 am

I just want to tell you both that thank you for sharing your experience. I would say not many business owners out there wanted to share their “Secret of their success. This is awesome and I here wish you all the best.
I was dreaming of having a food truck myself at one point. However, it is not that popular here in Dallas yet (Unlike Austin you see food trucks everywhere). Have to get license in each city and have to lease the commissary which cost a lot each month… so much trouble.
I was wondering is there any particular law/rules for fashion truck? Where do you park your truck at night? Do you have to store it in a specific spot? Also, I was wondering for a truck your size (I am guessing like a size of a UPS truck) how much you have to invest in merchandise each season?
I am thinking to own a fashion truck too. Just don’t know how to deal with parking issue. I guess I can talk to some mall owner and pay them a daily rent to park there for a weekend to sell. I also think that going to flea market is good too. At least I don’t have to haul all the merchandise to the tent to set up and get everything back on the truck after the market is over.
Once again, thank you and wish you all the best.

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Marissa Krebs August 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Hi, This information is great!!! I have an online boutique business and have dying to get a brick and mortar local but with two babies, not very practical…

I have been telling my husband this is the way to expand and promote our online boutique but he has been so hesitant! I showed him this page and he is at least listening to my ideas!
You have been so inspirational!!!

Cheers from “A Boutique” on wheels in Colorado!

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Bet October 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Your site is so helpful,few questions though to start same business in my town- 1.how do you accept payment and is it better to use money box,safe or fannypack 2.how do you handle theft, thankyou very much

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Susan Patin October 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Where do you purchase your merchandise, how do you find the items to sell?

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Ijeuru Coker December 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I live in Africa and I have dreamt of having a mobile fashion retail truck. Where can I buy a truck?

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Teresa admin December 2, 2013 at 11:22 pm
Teresa admin December 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I’m pretty sure you would buy the truck Africa.

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Anita January 31, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! This blog has been one of the most insiteful in our research. We are a non-profit – Upcycledfashion.com – in a very rural area (county of 6,000 and we cover three neighboring counties) which is why we are creating jobs here. Our one-of-a-kind fashions are unique, great quality, and praised highly when we do shows in Urban areas. Getting fashions to our patrons is the challenge.

If you have suggestions regarding which type of truck you would like to move on to, what you would have done differently, we would be so appreciative. Our core staff believes in this cause and the potential, so much, that they are donating much of their time; which means they certainly want to make the wisest choices from the onset.

Very Appreciative,
Anita Moss

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Teresa admin February 5, 2014 at 1:14 am

Anita, A used UPS or FedEx truck is probably your best bet to get started. What doesn’t work for me may work for you. Best thing is to know your market, have great products and price them competitively. Good luck.

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