Pop-up retail booking app Storefront is rolling out a new feature today called “Instant Book,” allowing small retailers to instantaneously book short-term leases.
Storefront is an online service that lists retail space for temporary stores and pop-up locations. With Instant Book, potential tenants can pay for listings upfront, lock down the space, skip the typical vetting process and receive a verification from the renter in 72 hours.
Listing prices and timetables on Storefront are managed by renters, and can range from small storefronts that go for a few hundred dollars a week, to luxury Nolita boutiques that go for thousands of dollars a day. A 1,365-square-foot storefront at the corner of Delancey and Orchard Streets is available for $2,000 a day, and a 2,500-square-foot ground level store at 25 Howard Street goes for $4,000 a day.
Storefront takes 2.5 percent commission from the renter and the tenant, and provides basic short-term insurance and general liability insurance.
“Brokers and landlords want to keep their space filled, so they come to us to make sure they can fill it in those lag times between long term leases,” Storefront co-founder Tristan Pollock said. “Some have completely switched to short term leases, so every few months, they’re bringing in a new brand.”
Storefront listings are on the smaller end of the commercial real estate spectrum, averaging 500 to 2000 square feet for a typical listing. Storefront users have been creative with their listings, and besides traditional retail space, Storefront lists parking lots, streets trucks and hotel lobbies—anywhere brands and businesses might want to set up nimble, experimental retail offerings.
Storefront is referred to offhandedly as the “Airbnb of retail space”—a comparison Mr. Pollock doesn’t mind in the least.
“I think Airbnb is an amazing business, bringing a new degree of efficiency to residential,” Mr. Pollock said. “We aspire to do those things as well, only we’re working with business.”
Storefront was founded in California in March, 2013. The following June, it expanded to New York City, where by Mr. Pollock’s estimate, Storefront does 60 to 65 percent of its business. The majority of other offerings are in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Storefront currently offers about 300 spaces for lease, but the founders intend to expand to other cities, with a total of 1,000 listings by Aug. 1.