Pop up the High Street shop is fully booked with retailers until 2016. Since opening at the end of August in Union Street Torquay, has enjoyed a steady flow of 14 local retailers, selling products ranging from hand painted glassware to traditional handmade Ethiopian clothing.
Pop up the High Street offers independent retailers in Torbay the chance to experience life on the high street for up to 6 weeks for just £30 a week. This provides home businesses or companies with an online presence the opportunity to have a ‘real world’ physical retail space, without the expensive overheads or risk.
Torbay’s Executive Lead for Business, Cllr Richard Haddock, said: “Local businesses are clearly taking advantage of the opportunity that this project offers them. Retail is such an important part of Torbay’s economy and I would urge any start up businesses that are currently trading online and would like to experience retail to get in touch with the team to get their advice and support.”
The retailers took up tenancy in the shop for different reasons including market research, general public feedback, increased publicity and sales. Each of the 14 retailers in 2015 has gained something valuable from the experience and many of the 14 will take advantage of the full 6 week tenancy limit.
Paul Reilly, entrepreneur and founder of TQView, who was one of the first tenants in the pop up shop, said: “Pop up the High Street has taught me that to be a successful business we need to work really hard, whilst constantly thinking about new ideas for the future. The advice I’ve received has been spot on and I’ve learnt loads from the other tenants too”.
Elizabeth Rouse from Stroppymoo had a successful 2 week tenancy in August, and subsequently rebooked for November. She said: “We would definitely recommend Pop up the High Street to both online retailers or start ups considering traditional retail, as the experience really connects you with your direct market. Whilst it’s great to get sales, it’s been so valuable to get direct feedback from the public and to experience firsthand, people’s enthusiasm for the brand.”
Pop up the High Street also has a sister project, Shop up the High Street. Shop up the High Street is a support programme for existing independent high street retailers to help them improve business areas such marketing and footfall across Torbay. Retailers will be offered one to one support and workshops to help them improve their businesses and adapt to the challenges facing the high street. To find out what free support is available locally to you, please go to www.shopupthehighstreet.org
Pop up the High Street has opportunities throughout 2016 for those who would like to experience life on the high street. With places in December 2016 booked already, early booking is advised in order to guarantee your preferred dates. To enquire about this opportunity or to book your place go to www.popupthehighstreet.org or email Liz.Edwards@tedcltd.com