INDEPENDENT traders will bring new life to West Bridgford’s Central Avenue Christmas shopping experience – thanks to an early ‘gift’ from property consultants FHP and FHP Living.
Local retailers will be taking space in a pop-up shop within a prominent vacant retail premises. David Holmes shoe store had been a mainstay of the area’s retail offering for 45 years before it closed down earlier this summer .
The property is owned by the founders of FHP Property Consultants – Brian Fisher, David Hargreaves and John Proctor. The property has been marketed by FHP and is now under offer, but because it won’t be needed until the new year,
David came up with the idea of handing over the empty shop for free to local independent traders for Christmas.
FHP joined forces with West Bridgford’s Totally Locally initiative to bring the shop back to life for the prime festive shopping period and improve the shopping experience of West Bridgford
So far, 40 people have signed up to take space in the store which will open its doors to shoppers on Thursday, November 21 and continue trading right up until Christmas Eve.
David, founding director of FHP and estate agency FHP Living in West Bridgford, said: “The store is a perfect location for this sort of initiative being in the Prime pitch and large ,and the uptake so far shows that local businesses share that view.
“We are keen to support all those working hard to improve the “offer ” of West Bridgford like Karina Wells and Mike Finn at Totally Locally and this shop and idea provides a great opportunity for both new and existing businesses to promote and develop their businesses,over the festive period and beyond ,from a prime location that normally they wouldn’t have access to .
“In many ways there has never been a better time for people to make the move to set up a retail business and the pop-up shop gives them an affordable opportunity to test the water and decided whether to take the next step.”
Mike Finn is one of the people behind the Totally Locally initiative which has been running for two years in West Bridgford.
“Totally Locally is all about empowering local communities, investing in and reviving them and encouraging independent local businesses,” Mike said.
“The idea behind initiatives like the pop-up shop is to make traders and retailers think about what they want from their business, what it is that they are offering, their brand and how to move their business forward.”
Already booked to take space in the temporary shop are a wide range of crafts people, an author, wedding cake makers, jewellers, an artist, dress maker and care company.
For those wanting to take time out to relax from the rush for festive bargains there will also be a pop-up spa offering the chance to sample a number of health and beauty treatments and even a brewery which has gained a temporary licence to sell its beers.
“This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these people to have access to such an excellent high street outlet,” Mike added.
“It will be open in time for Saturday’s Christmas lights switch-on which last year attracted 10,000 people and we estimate that between 20-30,000 people will pass the store over the course of its trading period which is huge exposure for those taking part.”
Mike said FHP had provided a unique opportunity for traders. “FHP who already invest in the Local Community through their FHPLiving brand ,is showing it is happy to invest further in support of the local community by giving people a chance to promote and grow their business, and hopefully make a profit .
“It is a fabulous gift to the local community offering businesses and traders the space that if we had to pay for it would have cost us £10,000.”
Mike pointed out that it was not only start-up businesses that would benefit with some existing businesses taking space in the pop-up store to highlight their offering and signpost potential customers to their existing premises nearby.
Those taking part will pay a one-off fee of up to £200 depending on how much space they occupy but all will be encouraged to embrace the spirit of Totally Locally by sourcing materials they might need from other local, independent traders.
Young Enterprise groups from local schools will also be selling their products in the store which will be managed by Suzy Reeveley of Honest Inks.
The emphasis will be on high quality offerings, a point which has been stressed to all those taking space. “We are stressing the need for people to use this space as creatively as possible to gain the maximum impact,” Mike said.
FHP is a big supporter of small retailers, having been involved in setting up the city-wide Inspiring Retail Nottingham 2013 competition – which is seeking to find two exciting new retailers to open shops in the City Centre .FHP not only supports small retailers, but is advising on the £200 million refurbishment and redevelopment of Intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh Centre in Nottingham.
For more information, contact Liz Cartwright or Kiren Pooni on 0115 8532110 or 07769 713919.
L to R Iwona Gerber from Living HQ; Mel Wilson from Heidi’s Furnishings; Karina Wells from Totally Locally; David Hargreaves from FHP; Suzanne Reeveley and Mike Finn from Totally Locally and Phil Wilson of Heidi’s