How the Bath pop-ups and top-name shops are getting along beautifully
Bath's fledging businesses are being given a helping hand from the city's most exclusive shopping area this Christmas.
Milsom Place is home to the likes of Cath Kidston, Hobbs and Ted Baker but the shopping area has opened its doors to encourage the brands of the future with the arrival of pop-up shops.
The shopping complex first introduced pop-ups, which enable small companies to lease a prominent shop units on a short-term lease, back in May. Since then the centre has seen footfall increase by almost 40 per cent.
The initiative has proved so successful for the visiting retailers and existing big names that it has created five pop-ups this Christmas, filling them with local independent businesses that perhaps have not experienced a high street retail presence.
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Ken Elliot, director of Milsom Place, said: "These companies have good PR, good order systems, beautiful products, they have very, very good websites and to all intents and purposes they are the finished article, but they've never ventured physically on to the high street or a retail environment.
"Once you've reached a certain stage in your business development you need to consider multi-channelling.
"Businesses will have to decide what to do and they won't want to invest in fitting a shop or get tied up in a long-term lease.
"We can provide a fitted, decorated proper grown-up retail environment, trading next to big names, which enables them to present their product and meet customers face to face."
The concept of pop-ups started ten years ago in the bigger cities such as London, and acted as a marketing-led exercise for big brands.
Mr Elliot explained: "More latterly at the other end of the spectrum you have the issue of the high street and empty units and what to with them. Landlords have traditionally found artists or a co-operative to fill them.
"That's traditionally how pop-ups have been seen but increasingly we're looking at a new type of way of handling that. Retail is alive and kicking and doing all the things we would expect it to do.
"We can't have stable brands unless we supplement them with something more individual, something that has character."