Local mobile clothing company Pitch and Primer will have to wait a little longer before parking on downtown streets.
The Raleigh City Council on Tuesday deferred action on a request to allow mobile clothing vendors to operate while parked in public parking spaces.
Pitch and Primer, which does business out of an Airstream trailer, recently asked Raleigh leaders to change city rules to allow mobile clothing vendors to sell merchandise on public streets through the city’s “Food Truck Pilot Program.” The program allows participating trucks to park and do business from one of four locations around downtown Raleigh.
After a brief discussion, the council sent the request to the council’s Economic Development and Innovation Committee so it can determine the feasibility of the idea. Councilwoman Kay Crowder noted that Pitch and Primer’s trailer is bigger than most food trucks and wondered whether the trailer would fit in conventional parking spaces.
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“I’d really like to have some conversation about this, just because we have a limited number of spaces for our food trucks and they’d potentially have to share,” Crowder said. “This looks very long.”
Crowder is on the committee with Mayor Nancy McFarlane, Bonner Gaylord and Dickie Thompson. The group is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. on Feb. 28 in room 305 of City Hall.
Jared Childs, Pitch and Primer’s co-founder, said he understands the council’s decision to delay the issue and looks forward to working with the committee. Allowing street-side clothing sales will further cement Raleigh’s position as a city that nurtures innovation, he said.
“Our entrepreneurial ecosystem is thriving because of innovation, and that isn’t limited to the tech space,” Childs said. “When we get this passed, it will empower new, young, innovative retail start-ups to take chances, get their brand, product and concept out there and ultimately help create a vibrant retail community.”
Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said she supports the idea. Shop Local Raleigh, a nonprofit organization that advocates for small businesses, also supports the idea.
Jennifer Martin, the group’s executive director, emailed the City Council on Tuesday to point out that several local businesses such as Gypsy Jule, House of Swank and the Bikini Bus started off as mobile vendors before investing in brick-and-mortar spaces.
“Allowing these mobile shops to operate in a mobile capacity allows them to create brand identity, engage with consumers to create followers and leads to small business success early on so they can work towards opening their permanent location,” Martin wrote. “In addition to opening permanent locations, they have all been able to hire additional staff and are creating jobs and increasing economic revenue in our area.”