This St-Denis co-op may have found a way for brick-and-mortar retailers to survive
While online shopping has been putting a dent in business for brick-and-mortar stores for years, a St-Denis St. co-op thinks they may have found a solution.
Floh Shoppe combines eight different vendors under one roof. The store, which operates like a collective, was founded by Alex Mondry.
“It started off as Flohmarkt, which is a word in German which is a flea market,” she said. “That’s my company through which I run monthly flea markets so it’s more ephemeral and once that was going well I decided to open up a permanent shop with the same concept.”
Stephanie Nolin, who sells gently-used clothing, jumped at the opportunity to join. She said her business idea came to her after amassing too many pieces of personal clothing while working in retail.
“One day I had a yard sale and ended up selling everything and paying my rent, so that’s where the trigger came.”
St-Denis St. is still recovering from years of roadwork that put many stores out of business. Mondry said that while the area’s high rent and online retail has posed a challenge to stores, the fact that eight merchants are splitting the rent makes it easier to survive.
In addition, a personal touch is something the Internet can never offer.
“We find that just having a spot where we can interact with our customers and show them different merchandise than they might have considered online, it’s a different experience,” said Mondry.