Photographer: Brendan Bannon/BRENDAN BANNON/The New York Time

Material World: Hustling in the World of Food Trucks and Pop-Ups

In a rapidly changing retail landscape, some entrepreneurs are hitting the road.

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Every other week, hosts Lindsey Rupp and Jenny Kaplan guide you through the consumer universe, examining what's going on with all the things people buy.

The computer screen you're reading this on -- whether desktop, laptop or smartphone -- has transformed the way you shop and even how you eat. As consumers increasingly turn to the internet to research products and discover new brands, mall traffic has declined. On top of that, the low cost to starting a business online has allowed more competition to pop up. To set themselves apart, some retailers and restauranteurs are looking to more creative ways to attract attention and bringing their products directly to the people.

This week, we ask Michelle Lam, founder of lingerie company True&Co., to explain why entrepreneurs are embracing mobile storefronts rather than looking for space in a mall or sticking strictly to a website. The episode delves into the pros and cons of operating a roving retail location and why it’s harder than ever to get consumers' attention.

We visit a street fair in New York to find out what people like about pop-ups and hear about the challenges of running a mobile business from someone on the inside, Adam Sobel, the founder of vegan food truck The Cinnamon Snail.


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