Calgary reexamines rules of the road for roaming retailers
The turntables on the Beatnik Bus go round and round, but the truck's tires will not park on Calgary streets as the city has delayed the start of the mobile retail store pilot project
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Wednesday, April 29, 2015 5:24PM MDT
The owners of Calgary’s new retail trucks find themselves facing an unexpected roadblock after city officials scrapped the start of a pilot project for the mobile vendors over concerns from existing business owners.
The pilot project, which was to begin this week, would have permitted retail truck owners to sell their wares on city streets under the same rules that govern food trucks. The mobile stores would have to abide to regulations restricting operations near schools and businesses.
As the operators prepared to roll out their roving retail outlets, the city halted the plans for the project.
“It’s pretty disappointing,” said Kristin Poch of the Beatnik Bus, a mobile record store. “I'm confident the city will come through, it’s just timing now. We haven't been given any sort of time frame on when this is going to come into place.”
Despite the speed bump, Calgary’s mobile stores are permitted to operate within city limits, but sales from the trucks will be limited to private property including festivals and events. The trucks began their 2015 campaign at last weekend’s Food Truck Frenzy in the East Village.
Owners of existing businesses say their questions about mobile stores have not been addressed and city officials have agreed to delay the mobile vendor pilot project until all concerns are discussed.
The delay has disappointed the owner of the Sublime Mobile Couture truck.
“I’m invested in this, this is kind of my baby,” said Nicki Prins. “I want to bring something really unique to Calgary. “I think it’s all fair game. We're all respectful of each other’s businesses, and I think there's room for everybody.”