National enterprise campaign PopUp Britain is to open a flagship pop-up on London‘s King‘s Road next month, it has been announced today.
Opening on May 9th 2013, the shop seeks to support “high street entrepreneurs of the future”, ensuring that online start-ups can support themselves with a bricks & mortar offering to boost sales.
Offering a short-term opportunity to start-ups, the pop-up will house products from micro businesses and newly-launched independents who will travel from across the country to take over the space for brief stints over the coming 12 months.
Most online retail start-ups are beginning to realise that in order to build a solid brand that will stand the test of time, they need to be offline in bricks and mortar as well as creating a good online presence.
“Around 60 per cent of new businesses are now started at home, often by one person,” explained StartUp Britain Co-Founder Emma Jones.
“They need to meet their customers, find out what people think about their products face-to-face and work with fellow entrepreneurs to get a physical feel for the retail landscape.
“They need to effectively ‘showroom‘ their own online brand in order to take it to the next level.
“Our shop on King‘s Road is designed to give start-ups from around the country a low cost opportunity to test their products in an area that has famously played a key role in supporting independent British brands for decades.
“As more big brands exit the high street, it‘s becoming clear that they are not going to come back.
“We want to use these empty shops to give local businesses a boost, as well as offering the British shopper a new experience and a chance to support the British economy.”
As a record number of empty shops appear on the British high street, the concept allows new businesses to trial working in the challenging space without having to sign up to complex tenancy agreements.
A former electronics showroom which has stood empty for three months, the King‘s Road unit can hold up to a dozen start-ups at a time, each paying £200 for a two week stint.
Currently, a working shop installation in the Department for Communities and Local Government is showcasing the business model to local Portas Town Teams and further stores will be rolled-out across high streets in the months ahead with the first set to open in Surrey next month.
“PopUp Britain has clearly found a model for regenerating the high street that benefits landlords, retailers and customers alike and it is great to see the project going from strength to strength,” said UK Managing Director of PopUp Britain sponsor Intuit Mark Little.
“We‘re proud to have been supporting pop-up retailers from the start of the project by providing a low cost way for them to take card payments and never miss a sale with Intuit Pay and we look forward to seeing even more small businesses given the opportunity to thrive in this prestigious retail destination.”