'New broads on the block': store focused on female brands is in growth mode

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Credit: Bulletin

A year after rebranding as a store "for women by women," retail startup Bulletin is expanding with its third location. Next month, the four-year-old company plans to open in New York City's Union Square neighborhood.

Bulletin, which was originally founded in 2014 as a shoppable digital magazine and Etsy alternative, will feature around 60 female-led retail brands. Each label pays a monthly membership fee to showcase their wares. The company already operates stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

"It was important to create this space for women-owned businesses to learn about their brands," says Chief Operating Officer Ali Kriegsman and co-founder of the company. She notes that all of Bulletin's brands are female-founded, female-led or run by LGBTQ-identifying entrepreneurs. "If we were going to invest all of our eggs in a retail store, we wanted it to matter and to have a larger mission." Bulletin donates 10 percent of all proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

Kriegsman says that Bulletin is not just a "flash in the pan" reaction to the current climate—a result of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. She does note that there is more interest in the company, possibly because of such movements, and sales are increasing.

To continue momentum, Bulletin, which employs eight women on its corporate team and some 17 part-timers in its stores, is running digital ads under a "New Broads on the Block" campaign. The work was developed in-house and with freelancers.

While there might be more interest in female brands of late, women are still in the minority when it comes to running companies. According to recent analysis by the Pew Research Center, women only held 10 percent of the top executive roles at U.S. companies in 2016 and 2017. Yet there were more women in retail leadership positions. Of the 77 female CEOs, eight were in specialty retail, Pew found.

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