Five Minute Feature - Pop-up Shops
OPENING up a new business can be a risky move. But a new scheme aims to help entrepreneurs as they make their next step on the market. Reporter Michael Yong found out more:
IF YOU want to experience getting into retail or understanding a business, there is no better way than starting a pop-up shop.
That is the view of Penelope Menato, who owns Rosablue, a shop on Bath Road in Cheltenham.
She has just opened a pop-up shop in Moreton-in-Marsh as part of a new scheme aimed at encouraging retailers.
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Pop-up shops are short-term sale spaces that normally open during special occasions, such as Christmas.
Shopping centres such as Regent Arcade in Cheltenham will often rent them out to firms during the festive season.
Keith Willoughby, operations manager at Regent Arcade shopping centre, said the idea behind the traditional pop-up shops was to ensure as many units as possible were full.
He added: "Pop–ups can only be good news.
"They keep lights on in the high street and help the retail environment remain vibrant."
But now Old Market Way, a shopping centre in Moreton-in-Marsh, has teamed up with the national enterprise campaign Start Up Britain to set up Pop-Up Moreton.
The new concept aims to not just fill empty units but to also offer those people running young companies a chance to try selling their products in a cost-effective way.
Start Up Britain ran a series of pop-up shops in London late last year, and Moreton-in-Marsh is the first location outside the capital to run the scheme.
It opened on February 1, and runs until March 29. During that time, 12 companies will have the chance to spend two weeks each in the retail unit.
For £100, retailers have their rent, insurance and WiFi access covered.
It has already won the backing of the king of retail, George Davies, who officially opened the Moreton project.
The man behind Next, George at Asda and Per Una said: "Any concept that is innovative in retailing is essential."
The next set of traders will take over the spot on Friday.
Mrs Menato, who runs a soft furnishings and giftware shop, snapped up the opportunity to bring her business to Moreton.
She said: "I had thought of expanding into other areas. So I thought I would try this, which is a great opportunity to branch out. We are a little shop, but that is one of the reasons I took this on.
"You can get a little bit of experience from the way it runs, and it is a great way to understand what retail is all about.
"I would love to do it again, but maybe somewhere else, so I can explore my options."
Geoffrey Berger, managing director of Old Market Way, said: "We regard this project as a great way to support and encourage new businesses during difficult trading periods and we sincerely hope that it will provide a platform to launch the companies of the future."