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What if Uber was a retailer?
20 April 2015

What if Uber was a retailer?

Joe Hockey's message this week is about remaking regulation about penalty rates, citing the example of Uber being the world's largest taxi company without owning a single car. Likewise Air BnB is the world's largest hotel group without owning a single room. 

Uber and Air BnB base their business on monetising things that you own while you aren't using them. While your car would otherwise be in the garage you can get income from it. When you aren't actually using your house to live in you can make it work for you. 

What if you applied that theory to retail space? Combined with a growing trend for pop up and short term retail concepts, why couldn't you use space you aren't using at weekends- prime shopping time- for selling?

I can think of one example- office lobbies. They have street frontage and are unused at the weekend. Think of dead pockets of CBD or fringe CBD enlivened at weekends by collective pop up concepts, which open on Friday night for late night shoppers or diners and disappear on Sunday night. An app could tell you where the locations are and link pop up retailers to available spaces.

As well as fulfilling the social aspect of adding life to dead areas of the city, you would extend traditional shopping areas into surrounding business areas at peak times, attracting more shoppers into the CBD at weekends. 

And, yes, you could become the world's largest physical retailer without owning a single shop. We could call it Shuber.


Gary McCartney is the owner of McCartney Design, an integrated design studio with all the skills and experience to help you create new benchmarks in your category.

20 April 2015
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