Boutique Owners Use Truck as Mobile Store

September 8, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. overhead [OH-ver-hed] (n.) – business expenses including payment for electricity, heating, rent, etc.
Example: The lady wants to calculate the overhead first before starting the business.
2. utilities [yoo-TIL-i-tees] (n.) – service provided to the public, such as water and electricity
Example: The accountant noticed that the business was paying a lot for its utilities.

3. substantial [suhb-STAN-shuh l] (adj.) – in a large or considerable amount
Example: The businesswomen were happy to see a substantial number of customers patronizing their products.

4. secondhand [SEK-uh nd HAND] (adj.) – used or previously owned
Example: Buying a secondhand truck instead of a new one can help cut on expenses.

5. key [kee] (n.) – an important element
Example: Knowing the customer’s wants and needs was the key to improving satisfaction.


Read the text below.

Owners of a fashion boutique in Old City, Philadelphia have opened a store in the back of a truck as a form of business expansion.

The boutique owners, Abby Kessler and Katie Lubieski, have been running the Smak Parlour for eight years now. Because of the boutique’s success, the pair wanted to open another store that can bring their products to different places in Los Angeles through fashion trucks.

Running a fashion truck can be a lot cheaper than running a traditional store. According to Natalie Nixon, director of the MBA programme at Philadelphia University, overhead of fashion trucks is a lot lower.

Aside from saving the cost for utilities, using a fashion truck also does not require many employees. The owners themselves are enough to manage their inventory well. Another advantage is the cost of rental that is replaced by the cost of a parking permit, a fee that is substantially lower.

While the finances needed to run a mobile store is relatively cheaper, the costs needed to start this type of business are still high. First and foremost, an entrepreneur needs a truck, which may cost from $20,000 to $30,000 for secondhand ones. After that, renovations would also be needed. Despite the startup costs, truck owners believe that the ability to bring the store to the customer is the key in successfully running a mobile store.

Aside from the usual Monday to Friday service, the Smak Parlour owners are now planning to cater to people in festivals in different neighborhoods using their fashion truck.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you be interested in buying from a fashion truck? Why or why not?
·         What other businesses do you think can be started using a truck? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         How important is strategy in making a business work? Please explain your answer.
·         Aside from convenience, what other factors make a business appealing to consumers? Please explain your answer.


September 8, 2013