Flagship ‘pop-up shop’ for start-ups to open on King’s Road
PopUp Britain scheme will allow online businesses to test products on iconic high street
Hundreds of online businesses will be given the opportunity to share a shop on an iconic London high street, as part of an initiative aimed at helping UK retail start-ups establish a physical presence. The PopUp Britain scheme today announced its flagship store is set to open on May 9 in a former electronics showroom on London’s King’s Road. Up to 12 small businesses at a time will be able to share the space on a short-term basis, with each paying £200 for a two-week stint to cover costs. The initiative, which is backed by private sector funding, aims to support entrepreneurial online retailers by allowing them to establish a presence in one of the growing number of empty high street shops in the UK. The scheme piloted last year and saw a shop in Richmond play host to more than 60 start-ups in five months, with 91% of those involved reporting a positive impact on their business. StartUp Britain, which runs the project, also announced it will be working with local Town Teams to expand the PopUp Britain project to empty stores across the UK, the first of which is set to open in Surrey next month. Emma Jones, StartUp Britain co-founder, said: “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. They need to effectively ‘showroom’ their own online brand in order to take it to the next level. Our shop in 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.” The initiative has also gained the backing of retail expert George Davies, known for his success with Next and George at Asda, who added: “We all know the High Street is struggling, from the competition of out of town and online shopping, with record numbers of empty shops. The PopUp Britain concept is an excellent project, not only in getting rid of the unsightly hoardings, but most importantly giving an opportunity to small entrepreneurial businesses to experience working on the high street.” For more information on the scheme and how to apply visit www.popupbritain.com/apply.