What is a pop up shop? It’s a temporary shop that can be used to test demand for a more permanent shop, or to bring attention back to a shop building that has been empty for some time, or to showcase a product. You can get a good feel for pop up shops in this article from the Independent.
My home town Bedford now has quite a few empty shops – most towns do these days. A combination of the recession, online shopping and the growth of out-of town retail parks have hit our town centres all at the same time, closing down many shops. The community group We Are Bedford have been using pop up shops as a way of bringing empty shops to life.
I love the whole concept of pop up shops for three reasons. Number one, it’s obvious that we need to reinvent our town centres – things are never going to return to the way they were pre-credit crunch because too much has changed. Second, it’s great that small businesses and communities are taking the lead in this reinvention because we are so often dominated by big brands. And third, it gives small businesses exposure that they haven’t had before.
This third reason is why I’m writing this post. Because I know lots of little home-based business owners who don’t stand a chance of renting a high street shop, but that could get together and try a pop up shop.
I keep hearing about the idea of pop up shops and I thought I’d share some articles and resources just in case you want to give one a go. Please do feel free to leave a comment and share what you know.
- howtopopup.co.uk is a free guide to setting up and running a pop up shop.
- Also check out artistsandmakers.com
- Another inspiring article, this time from the Guardian: Reimagining the high street: how empty shops can become community hubs
- We Are Bedford’s website with info about their pop-up shop projects so far including the Castle Quay Weekender and the Christmas Pop Up Emporium – wearebedford.co.uk
If you have any other examples of pop up shops or resources to help people thinking of setting one up, please do leave a comment below..