LAKELAND, Fla. -- Millennials are coming up with innovative ways to open up businesses in prime downtown locations.
- Millennials are sharing storefronts
- It's a trend known as co-sharing
- It helps business owners afford prime locations
It's a trend of business owners not just sharing office spaces but also storefronts.
In April, Abdiel Gonzalez and his wife Kristy Scott moved their jewelry line and clothing store 5th and Hall into the same downtown Lakeland storefront as Reborn, a blow dry bar and barber shop.
"We kind of wanted to move into a bigger space but we knew we alone couldn't fill it and the affordability would be tough for us," Gonzalez said. "When this space became available we thought this might be the perfect opportunity to try out this co-shared idea that we've seen evolving over the years."
Now, they get to split the thousands of dollars in rent.
"Just being able to share that load has been helpful," Gonzalez said.
"Downtown Lakeland is a prime location, said Jason Oliveras, the owner of Reborn. "It's been great for the business. Definitely growth in it. Definitely see a change."
Both say they're seeing more foot traffic. Since their businesses are in different industries, they believe they complement each other.
"The customer who shops here has been really excited about the possibility of completing their look with hair and makeup and vice versa. A lot of their customers coming through the shop have kind of been getting excited ready for an event with hair and they'll come through and pick something up on the way," Gonzalez said.
They're not alone. Startup retailers are bunking up more and more to build their businesses.
"It's kind of where retail is going," Gonzalez said. "I think with online business becoming so prevalent now it's important to switch the in-store experience. A lot of stores are adding coffee houses or they're adding other services to create more of an experience."
But to make it work, they say you have to work together as a team.
"The branding of all of the businesses had to make sense together," Gonzalez said. "It can't just be a hodge-podge of different things. It has to be a seamless flow for the customer."
They said they're looking for another business owner to join them. In the back, they have about 400 square feet that they would like to fill as soon as possible.
According to entrepreneur.com, some other tips for sharing storefronts include getting leases that permit subletting, and seeking the help of a real estate broker to find the perfect match.