At Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Retail Carts Provide Great Business Opportunities for Small Businesses with Big Ideas

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL – Have a great retail idea and an entrepreneurial spirit but too little cash to open a traditional airport store? The retail cart program at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport might be just the ticket to get your business off the ground and in front of millions of travelers each year.
 
“The retail cart program is the perfect business incubator for individuals to test ideas, get established at the airport and, over time, perhaps, compete for larger storefront space,” said Dennis Probst, executive vice president of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
 
The cart program helped Frederic Estes, a certified disadvantaged business enterprise owner, grow his airport presence well beyond the three news and gift stores he operates in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2: Estes Twin Cities News (Concourse E), Estes Lakeshore News (Concourse A) and Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine News (Terminal 2).
 
“The news and gift stores are successful, but they offer a limited footprint for specialty retail items,” Estes said. “I had an idea to sell a variety of electronics accessories and needed space to display them, so I rented a retail cart in Terminal 1’s Concourse C. Bluwire, my new electronics accessories business, was so successful, I now have three Bluwire carts on Concourse C, a fourth cart in Terminal 2 and a Bluwire traditional storefront on Concourse F.”
 
Those interested in being considered for a cart opportunity can simply download an application from the www.metroairports.org Web site and submit it to the Metropolitan Airports Commission along with a detailed business plan. Cart operators are selected based upon availability of carts and upon reviews of the submitted applications and business plans. Rental rates are $1,000 per month plus at least 10 percent of all sales that exceed the monthly rent.
 
There are seven retail carts at Terminal 1 and one cart at Terminal 2. For more information, visit http://www.metroairports.org/Airport-Authority/Business-Opportunities/Retail-Cart-Program.aspx or contact the MAC’s retail manager, Becky Zwart, at becky.zwart@mspmac.org.