StartUp Britain pops up in Richmond

A retail campaign supported by British entrepreneurs has today announced the launch of a three month pop-up store on Richmond high street.

StartUp Britain aims to help young online businesses on the first stepping stone to a bricks and mortar presence as many independent retailers have been prohibited entry onto the high street previously for not having the necessary financial acumen to develop a brand.

Sponsored by laptop supplier Dell, insurance group AXA and online payment company PayPal, the scheme has seen a redundant store space in the Home Counties town revamped into a unit that will house a total of six retailers for two weeks at a time.

Brands unveiled today at the pop-up include ethical accessories group Elephant Branded, menswear company Tier One and a jeweller working under her own name as Maria Allen Jewellery.

Speaking this morning at the official launch of the initiative Clare Rayner, Retail Champion, said that she felt that Mary Portas‘s review of the high street was belated in the current financial landscape and many small retailers are still suffering as a consequence.

”The Portas review and response is too little too late; landlords are reluctant to rent to online businesses and the bottom up support does not exist,” Rayner explained.

Noting the great deal of red tape facing small companies making the transition from online to a physical store presence, Rayner added: “They need to hire a lawyer to complete a lease of the property in a retail unit and they will not carry out this procedure as it is expensive.”

Last week, the government laid out plans to scale back red tape, committing to give over £80 million in start-up loans for young entrepreneurs with a view to creating as many as 30,000 new businesses.

Richmond‘s pop-up costs £135 to rent for a fortnight and those involved hope to capitalise on the invaluable opportunity, especially during a significant period of added footfall this summer.

The passing of the Olympic torch will attract visitors to the town centre tomorrow and the cycling event on July 27th 2012 hopes to provide an opportunity for considerable growth within the riverside suburb.

Supported by local MP Zac Goldsmith and celebrity retail figurehead Mary Portas, the scheme hopes to be the first of many across the UK as the industry works to raise the status of small independent retailers.

Lord Young, Enterprise Advisor to the Prime Minister attended the opening and commented: “I would love to see this idea spreading, I wish it well.

“I would like to see pop-ups popping up all over Britain.”


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