Northern Ireland vacancy rate highest in the UK

niirtaWith one in five local shops empty (NIRC shop vacancy study), it is Northern Ireland that has the highest vacancy rate in the whole of the UK. If not for pop up shops and charity shops, the high streets would be full of empty premises.
Aodhan Connolly of The Retail Consortium said “The good news is that footfall is up – but by the same token questions need to be asked as to why that is not translating into sales. We did have a bit of growth for September but now, coming into Christmas, it is a very worrying time for retailers as far as what people are spending goes.”
Meanwhile the NI Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) is pushing for the Executive to take urgent action in light these disturbing figures. “The Executive needs a new joined up strategy to tackle this problem, alongside comprehensive retail development plans for each town and city to reverse this decline. NIIRTA has already published a 50 point plan, Town Centre First, setting out our ideas and we will continue to bring solutions to Ministers on this issue” said Chief Executive Glyn Roberts.
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Wired pop up shop

Wired-cubeTech magazine Wired is opening its first pop up shop sponsored by Samsung Smart TV. The store aims to bring the pages of the magazine to life and enable customers to interact with those products and people that are part of the pages.

Open from 30th November until 5th December in the Quadrant Arcade on Regent Street London, the shop will also include a selection of the latest tech products especially chosen for the event.

Rupert Turnbull, Wired Publisher, said: “We’re delighted that Samsung are sponsoring Wired’s first UK pop-up store and joining us to showcase the latest in design and innovation. It’s exciting to be bringing Wired to life for readers and visitors to London’s Regent Street in an interactive gallery environment.”

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Christmas card pop up shop

EsherA pop up shop has opened in Esher offering shoppers the opportunity to support more then 28 different charities by purchasing Christmas cards.

Cards for Good Causes is open at St Georges Church, Esher Park Avenue until Tuesday 18th December from 10am – 4pm.

Karen Maddin, Shop Manager, said: “As we’re part of the UK’s largest multi-charity Christmas card organisation, we offer a wide range of designs to choose from and a convenient way to support more than one good cause. We are also looking for new volunteers to come and help in our shop, so if you can spare anytime either as a one off or on a regular weekly basis, just come along to the shop to find out more details.”

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Five Michelin starred chefs – one night only

bobby mooreThe Bobby Moore Fund in partnership with Electrolux will present a gastronomic extravaganza which if you are a serious foodie is an absolute must.

The one off event is a charity dinner of five courses, each cooked by a Michelin starred chef at Gibson Hall, Bishopsgate, London. Chefs already on board include Daniel Clifford of Midsummer House Restaurant in Cambridge, Atul Kochar, Simon Roga and Jonray & Peter Sanchez.

Tickets for the event – that is to be held on 24th January 2013 – are £395 each. VIP and Chef’s table tickets are also available.

For more information and to book tickets contact

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The Literary Salon

literary salonOpened in Twickenham this last week as part of the Richmond Literature Festival, the Literary Salon is up and running for the whole of November.

Located in an empty shop on Heath Road, the salon will play host to various workshops and events for people of all ages.  Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for community, business and culture, said: “This year, the Literary Salon provides a wonderful resource for people to get involved with lots of activities and workshops.

“Situated as it is in an empty shop, it perfectly showcases how pop-up shops can give a meaningful contribution to our towns, with impact beyond their brief stay.”

 For more information see

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Ainhoa pop up spa

AinhoaAinhoa were offering free facials to passers by in their pop up spa at St Pancras Station.

Located on the station’s Grand Terrace area, the brand was promoting its first line of products for direct sale to UK consumers – including products containing both diamonds and caviar.  Ainhoa was founded in 1996 and has previously only been sold in destination spas and 5* hotels around the world.

Open now, the spa will be offering a free range of express treatments to men and women who are passing through until the end of January.

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Chez Amelie for Meningitis research

MeningitisSally Clipson and Kevin Smith, who lost their three year old daughter Amelie to Meningitis in 2008, turned their Soham home into a 28 cover pop up restaurant for the evening in order to raise funds for Meningitis UK.

The menu was French themed as the family had lived in France when Amelie was taken ill, and the food and drink were all supplied by supporters and volunteers so that all of the profits from the evening could go straight to charity. With no fixed prices for the meal or wine with guests encouraged to pay what they felt the meal was worth and so the money came flooding in, raising £1,600.

Kevin said the evening was “beyond all our expectations – I think people were expecting to eat in our front room but it turned out they ate in what felt like a proper restaurant”.

The couple hope to repeat the event ever six months in order to continue to support the charity.

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Pop up gallery in Chelsea

Slone SquareRoger Baresel, who owns the pop-up gallery off of Slone Square, has chosen six female artists to exhibit their work at 188 Pavilion Road.

With many items under £400 and some under £100 he said: “What unites these artists is that they are affordable. A lot of people painting are indulgent, and that’s fine, but they shouldn’t expect to sell.”

Included in the show are artists Jenny Ing, Lucille Cranwell and Imogen Man.

The gallery is open until December 23rd.

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Animal Art Fair pop up gallery

TAAF PopupChris Wright, Ian Edwards, Veda Hallowes and Rosalie Johnson are the artists that are currently exhibiting their work at the new Animal Art Fair pop up gallery in London.

Prices start at £60 and pieces for sale include anything from prints to life size bronzes. The exhibition aims to provide beautiful and accessible art work for all and is open until 21st November.

The Gallery is located at 5 Park Walk, London SW10 0AJ with the location sourced by the team here at Popupspace.

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Pop up poppies

poppy shopBedford’s first ever pop-up shop is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The Poppy Shop opened in the Harpur Centre last week to raise money for the annual Poppy Appeal.

Angela Parker, who is behind the idea, sells lapel poppies, badges and various other types of commemorative material along with her team of volunteers.

The Bedford Swan is also supporting the appeal by donating £1.50 for every pint of Poppy Ale sold at its beer festival between 8th and 11th November.

The Poppy shop is open until 10th November.

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