October 26, 2012 - Rachel Miller
StartUp Britain's pilot enterprise store in Richmond, Surrey has been so successful that the scheme is to be rolled out across the UK.
Feedback from the first tenants of the pop-up store, PopUp Britain, shows that the start-ups have seen a number of key benefits, including customer feedback, partnerships with complementary brands and opportunities to get their products in front of high street giants.
Now the campaign is working to create a pop-up blueprint that can be rolled out nationally, with local councils offering empty shop grants to build on this success.
StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones said: "We launched PopUp Britain to bring great British businesses to the High Street and to fill empty shops that depress our towns. Over the past ten weeks we have welcomed a variety of tenants to the first PopUp shop, from chocolate makers to fashion designers, and it has been a privilege to see how they have maximised the opportunity to make sales, test the market and meet customers face to face."
Jones added: "For small businesses, PopUp Britain represents a cost-effective and powerful route to market and for landlords, an opportunity to generate income and bring activity to formerly vacant sites."
In addition, Richmond Council is working with the campaign to launch a scheme to offer grants and support for the temporary use of empty shops, with a high volume of small local businesses expected to apply.
In a survey, 82% of PopUp Britain tenants reported that the experience had benefited their business; 71% said they had made lasting links with other co-working start-ups and 71% said they were now looking for similar experiences in other pop-up shops, or would like to come back into PopUp Britain again.
PopUp Britain is hoping to see ten shops launched before Christmas 2012 and is planning many more in 2013. Shops will be PopUp Britain-branded so customers know they are buying from small businesses.