Boutiques Try Co-Retailing

Independent boutiques in popular retail neighborhoods are embracing a new revenue model, said Syama Meagher, chief executive officer of the consultancy Scaling Retail.

It’s co-retailing. The deal is a boutique with a great real estate location offers space in its store to a brand for a fee. Like consignment, the retailer will offer a cut of sales to the brand.

The balance of power lies with the retailer. “It’s a brilliant idea for someone to open a retail store and get someone else to cover costs,” Meagher said. “You get to be a curator of brands.”

The benefit for the manufacturer is that they are promised prominent shelf space at a store that is proven to be popular with boutique shoppers.

Co-retailing is not an opportunity for retailers to merely collect rents for their store’s real estate, Meagher said. Boutique owners have to make sure that brands fit with their store’s aesthetic. “Stores must protect reputation. Stores cannot be a hodgepodge of brands,” she said.