In the latest installment of the partnership between BART and developer TransMart, SF-based men's sports accessories retailer Rule #5 has debuted a holiday pop-up store inside the Embarcadero BART station.
Located just outside of the station exit at Market & Beale, across from Seismic Coffee, the pop-up shop is stocked with an assortment of backpacks, messenger bags, Dopp kits and wallets, each branded with logos and other detailing representing different sports: running, cycling, surfing, sailing, skiing, and triathlons.
“We chose this location because we wanted to offer a quick and easy way for BART riders to get their holiday shopping done, without having to take time out of their busy days,” said Rule #5 publicist Karen Block, wife of company founder Jeff Block.
Rule #5, which has a permanent storefront at 1335 Larkin St. in the Tenderloin, is intended to target athletes, "and since the Bay Area has many athletic, healthy-minded people on all sides of the Bay, we felt that this location would give us the broadest exposure," Block said.
The retail partnership between BART and TransMart, which began in 2011, offers 100- to 2,000 square-foot pop-up and permanent retail locations for businesses to rent monthly, with all proceeds going back to the companies. Over the past year, Rule #5's space has hosted a licensed NFL apparel shop during Super Bowl City, and a spring pop-up from vacuum company Dyson. “Apparently, both had strong sales,” Block said.
While Rule #5 had only been open for four days when we spoke to Block, "many BART riders have already stopped in while waiting for their trains," she said. "Our most popular item so far has been the backpacks, although many people are also excited about our messenger bags.”
But while the location may be convenient for exposing the brand to commuters (the BART system averages 421,000 per day), there's one big challenge: parking.
"The store is small, so we can't keep a lot of inventory there," Block explains. "Our warehouse is in the Tenderloin, so we can quickly restock if needed, [but] we need to have multiple people for each delivery of re-stocking inventory, because there is no place to park nearby where we can unload boxes."
Rule #5 will only be around until December 31st, but commuters can expect more retail partners to join the fray soon. According to the East Bay Times, Dunkin' Donuts, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and Oaklandish are all prospective BART station tenants.
Rule #5's pop-up is open Monday-Friday from 8am-8pm, Saturday from 10am-6pm, and Sunday from 12-4pm.