Online to High Street

Times really are a changing.  It used to be that shopkeepers needed help to set up their stores online because, perhaps they were not particularly technology minded and websites were not as easy to set up as they are today.  Now you can have a great looking WordPress site with ecommerce up and running in a couple of hours with very little tech knowledge.

But making the transition from online seller to high street retailer can be just as much of a daunting prospect.  Until now you have been beavering away from the comfort of your own home, creating an online buzz.  But can you make it on the high street when you hear so many horror stories that would suggest you will fail?

It is often said that the cheap prices of online sellers has contributed to the struggling high street but it is becoming increasingly important to use both avenues for generating revenue and not to put all your eggs in one basket.  To reach a wider audience a more holistic approach is needed.

A pop up shop is an excellent way to test your market and dip your toes in the water.  However, many small businesses have made huge successes with temporary lettings and see this as an ideal alternative business model for their product.  Pop up shops represent a fresh approach, ever changing fashions, excitement and independence.  These qualities can only enhance your business.

If you’re in the early planning stages of the transition from online to high street and are considering a temporary shop to sell your wares then get in touch with Popupspace and we will be happy to offer our advice.  Alternatively if you are ready to pop up, register your requirements on our website and you could be on a high street near you sooner than you think.



Sarah James, Popupspace

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Pop Up Restaurants with a Difference

Restaurants have been widely considered to be permanent fixtures.  They are those buildings on the high street that quite often look like they have been there forever.  They have a kitchen hidden away behind no entry doors, where the waiting staff disappear with your order and re-emerge carrying your dinner.

You could be fooled into thinking that this sort of set up wouldn’t lend itself to a temporary setting.  But when you think about it, all you really need are cooking facilities and somewhere for your guests to sit.

Pop up restaurants are becoming ever popular, so if you are planning one of your own it is just as important to come up with a unique selling point to make sure you don’t blend into the background.  Consumers like an adventure or an event, so why not make your restaurant something they will want to tell their friends about.

In London’s Finsbury, there’s a new pop up restaurant in town and this one is a little different.  Kitchen Party is the brain child of the organisers of the Bourne and Hollingsworth basement cocktail bar.

Kitchen Party will open its doors for three nights a week and after four months will disappear in to the ether.  Different chefs and mixologists will be there to tantalise your taste buds with food and drink from around the world.

One of the main features f the instillation will be an imaginary train, which customers will board and sample a seven course meal representing all the train stops on the way, from Rangoon or Yangon, the former capital of Burma all the way to Kashmir, the northwestern region of India.

If you think you can stand out from the crowd and have a unique pop up restaurant idea, get in touch with Popupspace, list your requirement and start your new pop up adventure.


Sarah James, Popupspace

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Marketing Your Pop Up Business – Without Breaking the Bank

The shorter your lease, the more vital it is to get people buzzing about your pop up business pre-launch date. This is equally important whether your pop up is an extension of an already-successful business, or a shiny new start up. Over the past few years we’ve seen established brands using the pop up model to boost their company profile, but how do you build awareness if you’re starting from scratch? Here are a few pointers to help you launch your pop up business with a bang.

One: know your USP. It’s essential to identify your Unique Selling Point and make that the focus of your pop-up marketing. If you’re going to be selling upcycled home furnishings, emphasise the eco-friendly, one-off nature of your products. Of course, the very fact that your business is a pop up is a unique selling point in itself. Your product will only be available from this outlet for a short time, so use your twitter or website to emphasise the limited window of opportunity that customers have to experience your Guatemalan street food or purchase your quirky Christmas decorations.

Two: think local. In the majority of cases, your pop up small business is going to be located in a town, suburb or smaller city. You should be focusing your pop up marketing efforts on potential customers – and potential champions – within a reasonable radius. In most cases, there will be resources already in place that you can utilise. Approach your local newspaper – if you pitch your USP right and emphasise your place within the pop up movement, they might see a story in it. Social networking sites are global in essence, but run a few simple searches and the chances are, you’ll find tweeters or bloggers with a special interest or follower base in your local area. Approach these people with earnest enthusiasm and you’re sure to find some who’ll be happy to give you a RT or help spread the word.

Three: consider a soft launch. An invitation-only soft launch showcasing your product allows you to handpick influencers for your target market – those local journalists, tweeters and bloggers you’ve already connected with. Don’t forget the owners of neighbouring businesses – perhaps you can agree a flyer swap, and if they like your product they’re likely to spread the word to their customers. However, bear in mind that a free invite doesn’t entitle you to positive publicity. Soft launches are particularly relevant if you’re marketing a pop-up restaurant or bar, but there’s nothing to stop you launching a pop-up store with an invitation-only evening of Cava and canapés. Pop up should be fun, after all.

Ready to begin your own adventure? Get in touch – we can help you find the perfect premises for your pop up business, and we’d love to hear from you.



Lauren James, Popupspace


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StartUp Britain – It Could Be You!

An entrepreneur from Henley has gained successes in the world of retail pop ups and has big ambitions to continue this achievement in her home town.

Louise Tippey has been running her own fashion business for years and, like many other self starters, was put off opening a bricks and mortar store because of the daunting financial commitments and red tape.  Earlier this year when she came across a government scheme to fund and support pop up shops she leapt at the chance and applied.

The Government Startup Britain scheme has been launched in partnership with high street giant John Lewes.  They have recognised there is a need to fill these empty spaces for the good of the community.

Louise is currently renting a space in Camberley as part of the pilot project that will run for 6 weeks.  Each shopkeeper will trade from their space for a period of 2 weeks and will then hand over their pitch to the next group, paying just £100 a week in rent.

The success of this project is clear and if similar schemes were to be rolled out across the country, the damage empty shops have would be minimised.  In Louise’s home town of Henley there will soon be 17 retail closures, with new permanent tenants becoming harder and harder to find.

This has an impact not only on the landlord’s income but also on the shops still open around them as empty retail spaces turn shoppers off visiting a town at all.  This scheme would ensure that spaces stay open while also creating an ever changing environment and more interesting and alive town and high street.

If you have been inspired by this and want to know more about running your own pop up space, get in touch with us.  You could change the face of your high street.



Sarah James, Popupspace

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The Future of the High Street

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

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The Balancing Act of the High Street

A high street, town or city centre needs several factors to thrive to ensure the whole social network succeeds.

When we think of the high street we instantly imagine shops filled with food, clothes, electronic gadgets and home furnishings.  We can sometimes forget that shoppers also need other reasons to travel to these destinations.

They need doctor’s surgeries and other health care professionals.  They want to see open green spaces for their children to play in or to relax for an hour in the sunshine.  And a high street wouldn’t be complete without a few offices for people to travel to work for daily.  All of this ensures a constant foot fall, providing impulse buys that can develop into a loyal customer base.

The Revolutionary Arts company who founded the community based group in 2000, has identified this imbalance in some areas and has clearly illustrated it with this handy infographic.  They recognise that a town needs much more than shops to make people want to visit.  It needs to have things that are important to everyone to form a more rounded society.

If you have noticed an imbalance in your local high street and have been inspired to do something about it, maybe Popupspace can help make that idea a reality.  With have access to hundreds of empty spaces that need people like you who want to make a difference.  So contact us and see how you can balance your high street.



Sarah James, Popupspace

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Growing Your Business

Growing your business is important not only to you but also to the powers that be!

Lord Young has for quite some time been seen as a champion of the start ups, entrepreneurs and small businesses across the board.  About a year ago he wrote a report on the support and development small businesses needed to survive in these tough times.

A year on and he is focussing more the micro business  – which is basically a company with one to nine employees – and how these firms can be nurtured and sustained.

Lord Young considers that medium sized businesses tend to get most of the attention and ultimately funding.  But this should not be the case.  After all, many of these organisations probably started their life as a micro firm themselves.  If more of these micro firms can be supported then the economic growth of the country could be sustained.

Popupspace were honoured to be invited to the report launch at 10 Downing Street this month, along with many other organisations who are determined to help small start ups flourish.  The ideas behind the report are simple; make funding available to a wider section of the community by removing the top age cap, while also ensuring access to training and advice is readily available to all.

Follow the link if you would like to read this fascinating report, Growing your Business.  And as always, if you are looking to start your won venture as a pop up head on over to our website and list a requirement.   We believe pop ups are one of the best ways to start a new business venture but also a unique way to continue one, giving you the flexibility a new start up business needs.  So take the plunge – you never know where it might take you in the future!


Sarah James, Popupspace

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Start Up Business – It’s Within Your Grasp

Running a start up business for many people can be a daunting experience.  There are many things you need to think about, from the financial side to your legal and insurance requirements as a trader and possibly an employer.  Not to mention the amount of work that actually goes into looking for the right property.

Getting the right start up business advice is the key to your success.  Well, that and your determination and talent, but that goes without saying!  Once you have your business model and funding in place it will be time to start researching the location.

One of the main difficulties for the start up business, apart from funding, is finding the right place to open up your shop, with lease terms that are right for them.  Often small businesses find committing to a long term lease a difficult pill to swallow.  That is why the pop up shop phenomenon has become so popular.

The average start up business may not have the experience to know how their new venture will perform, particularly in the current economic climate.  So flexibility is an incredibly important factor in helping a fledgling business succeed.  Using the pop up shop method you have a base for customers to visit, to build up your brand and experience, as well as having the breathing space of knowing you’re not tied into a long term contract.

So if you’re planning your first start up business or even if you’re a seasoned retail expert, we at Popupspace have a solution for you with our expert location sourcing services that can be tailored to your specific business requirements.


Sarah James, Popupspace

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The Pop Up Restaurant

The pop up restaurant is increasingly becoming one of the most exiting alternatives to its more permanent counterpart, while the Pop Up revolution is growing more dominant by the day.

We all love to eat out and many of us have favourite restaurants that we visit time and time again.  But it can easily get a little boring and that’s where the pop up restaurant comes in.  Temporary restaurants are not exactly a new phenomenon.  Food stalls and festivals have been around for years.  Some independent restaurateurs even travel around the country or their own town, going where the customers are.

A popular pop up restaurant in Brighton for example is the Trolls Pantry.  They sell gourmet burgers made with locally sourced ingredients and their ethos derives from the street food trend, where it is thought that people should be able to sample great food on the move, wherever they may be.  Their growing popularity means that they have recently taken root in a local pub.

As with the excitement that surrounds pop up and empty shops, you really could take your pop up restaurant anywhere, in doors or out, as long as you have the correct permissions, of course!  A good place to start, once you have your location sorted, would be to speak to your local council about obtaining a food and hygiene safety certificate and trading licence.

If you are in the catering industry or you are planning an event where a pop up restaurant would fit in, we at Popupspace often come across available property with catering facilities.  Alternatively, if it’s an outside space you’re after we can help you negotiate with landlords, owners and local authorities with our planning and pop up location sourcing services.  All in all, these restaurants are a great way to show off your culinary skills to a new audience every day, so why not get started today?


Sarah James, Popupspace

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Are you Retail Ready?

Being retail ready is not always the first thing people think of when they first embark on their new business.  This could be because their adventure all starts out as a hobby or passion and the fact that they could possibly make money from this passion often comes as a pleasant surprise.

With the ever growing, and welcomed, popularity of people taking the initiative and starting their own businesses, advice on being retail ready is being sought on a more frequent basis.

The idea of the start up business is nothing new but with the Pop Up revolution in the forefront of many people’s minds, starting your own business is easier and closer than you think.

Opening your own shop no longer needs to be a distant dream for people wanting to make something of themselves, and it’s not only for those who are already business savvy.  With Pop Up businesses this is even more important because the common ethos is to stay in control, stay independent and not be tied down to one location.  Pop Up has also become a huge learning community not to be reckoned with, producing more and more retail experts and entrepreneurs.

There are many agencies out there, several articles and books you can read on helping you to get started.  In particular the pro active Retail Ready People who are an excellent resource and invaluable network of people made up of experienced retailers and those still learning – all sharing their experiences.

They promote the same important message that anyone can do this.  Anyone with a passion can make themselves retail ready.  It is clear that the future of our high streets is in our hands and we can all make a difference.  So if you are planning your own Pop Up why not check out our website and register your interest and take the first steps to starting your own business.

Sarah James, Popupspace

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