Business share a lot of things these days: a healthy rivalry, customers and if you’re a hip Melbourne small business – a shop location! At first, this might sound counter-productive: two different businesses operating in the same locale. Allow me to explain…
Two businesses – one shop: it’s an idea so crazy there’s no way it can’t work. The first one I came across was a clothing store with a barber shop inside it. Genius, when you think about it. People who are going to get a haircut want to look sharp – and the clothes being sold right here complement their new look. Or perhaps while you’re trying on a shirt you notice you look a bit scruffy – hey presto! – there’s a barber shop right there to fix that. That’s the beauty of shop sharing.
So what we’re seeing is two businesses that feed off each other’s clientele but don’t infringe on the sales. Plus, I’m sure the split utility bills help too.
More Examples of Shop Sharing
Another that stuck in my mind was this delightful little bar called The Catfish, located on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy. Inside is a food stand/kitchen called Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks. Again, both feed off each other. Hungry and feel like a drink? Thirsty but could use a bite to eat? It’s the perfect combination (PS: the Philly Cheesesteaks are to die for).
This outside the box thinking is a prime example of small business passion and ingenuity. They’ve found what they’re good at and focussed on it. Then they’ve found someone else who complements them (and vice versa) and formed a perfect symbiotic relationship. This is nothing new; the Clownfish has been ‘shop sharing’ with Sea Anemones for centuries!