A successful London scheme that converts empty spaces into shops for startup retailers is being extended across the UK.
Following trials in London, PopUp Britain is going national. The initiative was created to give new British brands the opportunity to get their products onto the High Street. The leading popup store in Richmond opened in July and houses Britain’s most promising small enterprises for two weeks at a time.
All of the featured start-up retailers already run online businesses, but none of them have the financial weight to take on a shop single-handedly. PopUp Britain offers a co-working, co-funded space for brands to experiment with physical retail, test the market and gain face-to-face customer feedback.
To help landlords and small companies get involved, StartUp Britain, the campaign group behind the scheme, has provided a national pop-up lease document, while software company Intuit is giving free access to its online payments service to all pop-up shop tenants.
To commemorate the extension of the project, a shop is opening in the London headquarters of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Every fortnight, six new start-ups will move into the store, which will remain open for at least a year.
Emma Jones, co-founder of StartUp Britain, said: “The PopUp Britain model gives retail entrepreneurs an affordable opportunity to scale their businesses and become a part of their own high street.
“We’re seeing record numbers of people setting up businesses, and they are starting out small and online. They are the driving force of the economy.
“By actively encouraging local authorities to give start-ups access to empty shops across Britain, we hope it will help accelerate British enterprise as well as providing a vibrant addition to the local British shopping experience.”
Is PopUp Britain something you want to take advantage of in your area? Why not fill in the application for on the PopUp Britain website.