Liz Slee

Member Article

Popup Launchpad for Retail Entrepreneurs Opened

London’s deputy mayor Kit Malhouse officially opened an initiative last night that will help to launch the careers hundreds of online British retail entrepreneurs.

PopUp Britain, the retail arm of national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain, launched its flagship pop-up shop on London’s King’s Road with a party to welcome its first ten retailers.

Deputy mayor Kit Malthouse said: “One of the Mayor’s top priorities to support talented Londoners to get their businesses up and running. Speaking from personal experience, I have run many businesses myself and when I was starting out I would have been delighted if an initiative like this from StartUp Britain had been around at the time, so I am delighted to welcome it to one of London’s iconic high streets.”

StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones said: “We’re so pleased Kit could open our flagship store for us. We’re seeing record numbers of people starting businesses in the UK and 60 per cent of these are being started at home.

“As online retailers, they were asking us for ways to help them get low-cost access to the high street so they could meet their customers, get feedback and find out what it’s like to sell face-to-face.

“Our shop in King’s Road is designed to give start-ups opportunity to test their products in an area that has famously played a key role in supporting independent British brands for decades including iconic fashion brands like Biba and Vivienne Westwood.”

The outlet will offer short-term opportunities to start-ups and micro businesses to share the space over the next 12 months.

It is part of a pioneering initiative aimed at matching online retail start-ups with empty high street shops. The scheme, which is backed by private sector funding, was piloted by the not-for-profit campaign last year in Richmond, Surrey.

The initiative is supported by accounting software firm Intuit, PayPal, BT Businessand high street retailerJohn Lewishas been instrumental in helping the shop’s first retailers the best possible start.

Christine Kasoulis, director, brand development at John Lewis, said: “We are working with StartUp Britain on a range of exciting initiatives that support start-ups; by leveraging our expertise and experience, we are delighted to help nurture Britain’s future retailing talent.”

Mark Little, UK managing director of PopUp Britain sponsor Intuit, said: “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. 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.”

The first businesses in the shop are all run by new entrepreneurs. Each take over a percentage of the cost of the running of the shop, for a two week period, at which point the shop will be handed over to the next crop of businesses waiting to get their chance to test out the market and work on a rotational basis.

The first ten brands are:

ClicLoc, watchmakers
The Gorgeous Company
Laura Smith Glass
The Cocoa Mistress, handmade chocolates
RainWave, rain-proof chic
Zoe Boomer, Northern Ireland’s answer to Stella McCartney
P&Co Clothing
Pinucci, London
Couth eyewear

People interested in becoming part of the shop, should apply here

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Liz Slee .

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