Pop up shop helps create early buzz for Wallingford town centre
Four local businesses are sharing the first weeks of Wallingford’s new High Street pop up shop.
The unit, next to The Gallery on Wallingford High Street, opposite The Lamb Arcade, is being let by town centre specialists Iain Nicholson and Neil Wild of Flashop UK Ltd, as part of a joint South Oxfordshire District Council-Wallingford Town Council initiative. They are working with Wallingford Market Town Co-ordinator Kate Rayner to support efforts to reduce the number of empty shops in the town centre and encourage new businesses in to further strengthen its independent core.
Madeleine Tanner, who lives in the town, has brought together a group of local artisans and craftspeople to take space in the unit alongside her business, Create-ability, through which she runs creative craft workshops and sells hand-crafted items and craft materials.
Madeleine Tanner said: “My ambition is to ultimately open my own shop/workshop and studio to inspire others to be creative. Feedback so far has been great, very positive all round. People love the idea of the pop ups and are very happy for the unit to be filled. There seems to be a real buzz around the town.”
Sharing with Madeleine in the period between now and 23 August 23 are Anna Milloy t/a ‘Miss Foxglove’, who designs and makes colourful accessories in English sheepskins; Polly Morgan t/a ‘Polly’s ‘Picks and Vintage’, selling second hand and vintage clothing; and Reka Kis-Jakab t/a ‘Beegoods – Inspired by Nature’ who sells a range of natural hand-crafted products.
Anna Milloy said: “I like the pop up model and I think it uses commercial space to provide variety for customers and a platform for artists and craftspeople. I have sold via trade orders to shops in different locations around the UK but I think there is something special about selling to people you know from your own community and that's what I'd like to experience in this pop up.”
Reka Kis-Jakab said: “It is really inspiring to share the shop with other craftspeople who create best-quality and really pretty hand-crafted products!”
Polly Morgan said: “My passion for buying pre-owned clothing has meant I have an extensive collection of lovely clothes. I cannot possibly wear all these clothes so I decided to sell them, and love the idea of having the space in a temporary shop. Being involved with a local initiative is very appealing to me.”
The pop-up shop initiative has been funded by South Oxfordshire District Council and Wallingford Town Council to enable small businesses to try out trading in Wallingford with the aim of creating a pipeline of new retailers to take on empty units in the town. Businesses keen to test whether Wallingford is the right place for their High Street venture are being offered the opportunity to hire the space for short periods of time on a weekly fee inclusive of rent and utilities to give them a realistic taste of the costs involved in running a retail business.. Priority is being given to businesses that add to the mix of independents in the town and those that strengthen Wallingford’s reputation as a shopping destination.
Businesses keen to test whether Wallingford is the right place for their High Street venture are being offered the opportunity to hire the space for short periods of time on a weekly fee inclusive of rent and utilities. Priority is being given to businesses that add to the mix of independents in the town and those that strengthen Wallingford’s reputation as a shopping destination.
Cllr Robert Simister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “It is great to hear that there has been such interest from businesses looking to try out Wallingford as a place to set up. I hope that their experience is positive and they consider staying in the town on a long term basis.”
Cllr Lynda Atkins, Wallingford Mayor, said: “The new pop-up shop is fabulous. I’m already a customer – there is an amazing selection of really beautiful items for sale. It’s great that the pop-up shop can provide a platform for artists and craftspeople while at the same time help the town to fill its empty retail units.”