Pop-up mall challenges government to support UK’s independent retailers

Boxpark’s Roger Wade calls for housing minister to waiver pop-up rates at PopUp Summit

Pop-up store initiative Boxpark, headed by director Roger Wade, has challenged the UK’s soon-to-be appointed housing minister to support the country’s independent retailers in an offer announced at PopUp Britain’s PopUp Summit.

Presented at London’s City Hall last Friday, Wade announced an offer of three months rent-free housing to a group of independent retailers if the government will back it up with a pop-up business rates exemption.

In addition to the call to government, the summit also saw the unveiling of the results of the campaign’s PopUp straw poll which suggested that pop-up shops serve as a good basis for businesses considering a long-term high street presence.

Surveying a quarter of PopUp Britain’s tenants to date, 82% of the online enterprises polled stated that pop-up shops were crucial to the development of their long-term success with more than a third expressing a desire to eventually open a permanent shop of their own.

The findings mark an increase in the demand for pop-up stores and an “untapped market” with 55% of those surveyed saying they found it difficult to find a pop-up shop to suit their needs.

The Summit is part of an on-going campaign led by PopUp Britain, the retail arm of national enterprise scheme StartUp Britain, to help start-ups onto the high-street.

Boxpark’s Wade discussed the red-tape affecting pop-ups: “At the moment landlords are penalised if they open up their property to short-term lets.”

PopUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones continued:

“The pop-up movement is looking like it is breeding the next independent high street entrepreneurs, who may well be an answer to the woes of the British high street.

“We all need to recognise it’s in all our interests to support the pop-up shop entrepreneur.”

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