Last March, I closed my shop in The Brooks Centre Winchester. This November I’ve opened my shop in The Brooks. We’re not the only ones who are moving in. Popup shops are popping up all over The Brooks. In the space of a few weeks, the top floor has gone from being half empty to jam packed.
The popup model can work for all kinds of business. A popup shop may give a business like ours the chance to exploit Christmas to the full but for others it’s a toe in the water. A new enterprise, as mine was six years ago, is likely to find a ten year lease far too much of a risk. A popup gives you the chance to give an idea a try. If it works, you can build a business but if it fails you can walk away without going bankrupt. This must be a good model for any struggling high street or shopping centre and for the economy as a whole.
The same idea has worked for thirty years at Hampshire Workspace in Winchester where my online business is now based and for whom I do some marketing work. Entrepreneurs can take an office there without business references or a credit rating and are only obliged to give two months’ notice. Starting or growing a business is always a step into the unknown. This way, if things go wrong or very well for that matter, they can easily move to smaller or bigger premises.
Popups can give a company the chance to experiment or simply grab some extra income. The best result is that the experiment works so well or the new customers come out in such numbers that the activity becomes permanent. That’s a win for everybody.
This blog is an abridged version of an article that appeared on the Daily Echo website. It was written by Paul Lewis, owner of the marketing consultancy The Lewis Experience and online retailer Your Life Your Style, both based at Hampshire Workspace, and former Head of Marketing and Operations at The Mayflower Theatre. You can connect with him on Google+ and LinkedIn.