retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Interesting piece in the Seattle Times that points to how entrepreneurs are using the internet and social media to undermine traditional business models.

The industry in question is the commercial storage business, which allows people to rent facilities to store the stuff - big and small - that they don't have room for in their houses.

But later this week, a company called Stow That will begin offering as cheaper alternative - by essentially matchmaking people who need more storage space with people who have extra room in their garages or basements or even an extra room. Stow That gets a placement fee.

Based on reactions garnered during the development phase, founder Joe Mele says that he's a lot more worried about supply than demand.

Stow That may be a small idea. But then again, it could develop into a big idea. Stranger things have happened.

But the real lesson is that it is an idea, developed to create new competition to an established business ... and it comes from nowhere.

It can happen to anyone. Anytime. Anywhere.
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