Falkirk 2015

Shopping Centre Pop-ups

The organisers of TestTown Falkirk decided to use a vacant shop in their local shopping centre, the Howgate for their event. The space was shared by the five finalists with each given a stall to brand and trade from. This use of pop-up space in shopping centres is one which has been utilised by a number of our TestTown hosts including Coleraine and Perth. It allows the participants access to the existing shopping centre visitors but also offers a different kind of shopping experience which draws new visitors in.

“It allows the participants access to the existing shopping centre visitors but also offers a different kind of shopping experience which draws new visitors in.”

The Howgate Centre itself is very proactive in terms of supporting independent small retail businesses through their unique shopping space INDY ( www.howgateshoppingcentre.co.uk/indy ) on level 3. This is a space which offers affordable and flexible spaces to smaller traders within the shopping centre. The winner of TestTown Falkirk was Karen Templeton with her business Karen’s Cakes ( www.facebook.com/www.karenscakes ).

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Words of Advice

  • People are not shopping at individual brands, they are shopping at destinations. The people that will win at this are those that start packaging pop-up with infrastructure. The serious problem with pop-up space is that most landlords do not offer this. Successful pop-up destinations such as Boxpark in Shoreditch, E1, and London Union’s Street Feast, E8, provide basic shop fit-out, marketing and customers, which is a much more viable model for tenants.

    Nick Russell, We Are Pop-up

  • The animation of the town centre through pop-ups and performances created a wonderful atmosphere for new and returning shoppers.

    TestTown 2015 Host

  • The younger generation is the future, so spending the time to encourage them to care and solve problems regarding the high street is a wonderful step forward.

    TestTown 2014 Participant

Highlights from the recent years

Five Ways To Supercharge Your TestTown

We believe there are five things which would Supercharge your TestTown:

  1. Every town should create a clear, supported pathway into trading and opening up a shop  for new town centre entrepreneurs.
  2. Every town should have a permanent pop-up facility in a viable trading space which offers flexible lease arrangements up to a year for new town centre entrepreneurs to learn.
  3. Every town should work, within their means, to reduce financial barriers in reduced rates and rents for new traders during their first year of business.
  4. Every town should carry out a regular (every five years) entrepreneur-led consultation which would feed into a business-led strategy for town centre development and business support.
  5. Every town should develop a hyperlocal cross-sector partnership to lead local innovation, ensuring that agencies, businesses, and residents are all powerful in leading local development.