Online retail is great. It just has one huge drawback: It doesn’t offer a place for people to meet, mingle, hangout and eat.
This is the niche that Urban Space occupies, says Eldon Scott, president of the U.K.-based company’s New York arm and this week’s guest on Masters in Business. The company began in 1972 in the U.K., developing sites specializing in artisan food halls and holiday gift venues. The company is effectively a real estate model, seeking out inexpensive, under-utilized spaces, to create a community around food and gifts.
Scott left Great Britain to launch the New York City version of Urban Space in 1993 with a similar formula: he created food halls and gift fairs in locations such as Times Square, Madison Square and Columbus Circle. The firm is in the early stages of U.S expansion, looking at Chicago and the West Coast.
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Next week, we speak with Al Guido, president of the San Francisco Forty-Niners and Chief Executive Officer of Elevate Sports Ventures.