The growth and accessibility of the internet has opened many doors and opportunities for small businesses. In particular, those who would have trouble financing a bricks and mortar shop may have turned to a more outdoor version of what we now know as Pop Up shops, like market stalls and fairs.
However, not only is the internet easily accessible, the start up and maintenance costs of running an online shop compared to a physical outlet is greatly reduced. And because of this, online retailers can offer hugely discounted prices. This has gradually put more and more pressure on our high streets and a recent study by the Centre for Retail Research has predicted that over 60,000 UK shops could close within the next five years because of this unbeatable competition.
Nobody wants to see empty shops in our high streets. Not only does it harm the economy and tourism in certain areas, but it can also bring down the local morale and damage other retailers who are still trading with the reduction in visitors.
With local councils starting to recognise that a more flexible approach to leasing retail spaces is needed to improve the economy, some are reducing rates and lease terms. This can provide new and small businesses with a chance to use this lull as an opportunity to fill those empty spaces. Some towns and cities have very large properties to fill and these would provide excellent opportunities for start up collectives or businesses already trading online.
No longer should there be retailers who are exclusively bricks and mortar or exclusively online. Combining the two, coupled with more flexible terms like temporary pop ups is surely the way to go to keep the UK high street energised.
We at Popupspace have gathered a wealth of retail knowledge over the years and are here to help with any questions you have about starting your own Pop Up shop. So get in touch today and see how you can start reshaping your high street for the better.
Sarah James, Popupspace