Startup makes e-commerce a local affair.
NEW YORK, DECEMBER 26 – Anyone with an Internet connection can now shop The East Village in New York City. The E.Vil Mall website brings together independent retailers from the storied neighborhood, connecting local purveyors to the $1 trillion global eCommerce market.
The standard model for Internet retailing is to forsake the brick-and-mortar storefront. But this startup – founded by a former tech executive out of NYU's Stern School of Business – believes the future is local.
The East Village has well established bona fides as a neighborhood. It is the place that spawned Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, legendary club CBGB, The Beastie Boys, and houses The Village Voice. Sixty-five thousand students flock to nearby colleges NYU, Cooper Union, and The New School. They join forty thousand young professionals, a bevy of celebrities, immigrants, street kids, and old-timers to create a neighborhood Wikipedia describes as a "center of counterculture in New York".
Unlike the neighborhood itself, the independent shops that take root in The East Village largely remain local gems, unknown outside the community. The E.Vil Mall connects the dots, inviting a global clientele to shop the neighborhood.
Consulting giant Deloitte conducts an annual Holiday Spending Survey, and their research concurs that shoppers prefer local. A full 66% of survey respondents intend to shop independent retailers, mostly to support a local economy and find one-of-a-kind gifts. Despite this preference, the study also found that the Internet finally overtook department stores as the number one preferred shopping venue. CEO Jonathan Hollinger – a veteran of Deutsche Bank’s commercial real estate business and media conglomerate IAC – sees opportunity in the paradox.
"We represent a new model for local commerce, bridging the worlds of brick-and-mortar boutiques with online retailing", says Hollinger. "The East Village has great products and some of the most passionate purveyors anywhere. Keeping it that way depends upon outside money coming into the local economy. That's what The E.Vil Mall is about. That's our ecosystem."
ABOUT THE E.VIL MALL:
The E.Vil Mall is your central source for the unique culture and style of the East Village in New York City. An endless fusion of cultures – students, professionals, artists, and anarchists – create the East Village vibe recognized and emulated the world over. Shop the East Village with The E.Vil Mall.