In Support of Midlands Entrepreneurs
A pop-up shop in Birmingham’s Bullring is set to give more than 80 Midlands startups an affordable route to the high street through a pioneering new initiative.
PopUp Birmingham opens next month in the iconic centre on the Middle East Mall, offering support to the region’s future high street entrepreneurs by giving them an opportunity to co-fund and co-work in a prime retail space, keeping costs low while stirring up entrepreneurial spirit in the city.
The news comes as research from the Local Data Company this week revealed independents are slowly re-gaining a foothold on the high street – with 44 independent shops opening every day in 2013, according to their figures.
The initiative is run by PopUp Britain, part of the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM). Its aim is to nurture future independent talent and add diversity and sustainability to the British retail landscape.
PopUp Britain manager Becky Jones said: “Opening a shop in Bullring is beyond the wildest dreams of most new retail businesses. It’s an absolutely incredible space with a massive footfall and it’s a great opportunity for any startup.
“The city’s new retail businesses stand to hugely benefit from trading in this environment, working with fellow entrepreneurs and learning solid retail techniques to take their business to the next level.
“We’re on the lookout for up-and-coming retailers to take part over the coming weeks.”
The shop is set to open its doors with 12 city brands trading on April 15. Each week, 12 new brands will move in, curated by PopUp Britain’s retail experts. It is set to run for seven weeks, with regular boot camps to give new brands retail skills.
Owner and manager of Bullring, Hammerson is working with PopUp Britain to help develop the city’s own independent retail brands.
Tim Walley, Bullring general manager said: “Bullring is one of the UK’s most successful shopping destinations with an average annual footfall of 38m. We have a great track record of helping local businesses and the community and it’s something our customers find engaging and unique to the Bullring experience.”
PopUp Britain is working with John Lewis to offer expert visual merchandising to help to each of the new retailers in store learn how to make their products appeal to shoppers.
The initiative has already launched the high street careers of more than 350 new British retailers through its outlets around the UK.