AN entrepreneur from Worthing has welcomed Government recognition for Pop Up shops that offer businesses a chance to trial their businesses on a short-term basis.
Dan Thompson, who recently released his Pop Ups for Dummies book, felt Minister for Housing and Local Growth Mark Prisk’s acknowledgement of such schemes was an encouraging sign.
He highlighted one of the most recent successes in Worthing to have been started as a Pop Up, the town’s tourist information centre as an excellent example of an idea which has become permanent.
Speaking at a meeting attended by Mr Thompson aimed at offering guidance on how to set up Pop Up shops, Mr Prisk, who previously visited the area in his former role as business minister to praise Rolls-Royce expansion, said: “The high street is changing, with businesses facing stiff competition from online and out-of-town stores.
“We are committed to rejuvenating the high street and want to ensure that there are no empty spaces left in our town centres while small businesses struggle to reach customers.
“We know that most start-ups would benefit from trading on the high street and that’s why we are encouraging the creation of Pop Up shops to get empty spaces used and to help businesses test their ideas in the market.
“Our own pop up shop is giving small businesses the opportunity to trial trading in the high street and we want to see this idea replicated across the country”.
Commenting after the meeting, Mr Thompson added that he genuinely believed that such initiatives had paid off, having been personally involved with a wide-range of such projects across the country.
Presently awaiting the outcome of a bid to rejuvenate Worthing’s vacant Southern Pavilion on the pier, he underlined that having stores used rather than experiencing a high number of shop vacancies was vital for ensuring town centres survived.
He said: “It is good to see that Pop Ups are now gaining recognition from the Government and I hope to be able to do more in Worthing. I think they are important as it gives people the chance to try out ideas. It’s great if those work, but just as importantly, it’s a good thing that you can find out in a short space of time whether your products are working or not – if they don’t, then as a Pop Up, you can exit the site without a lot of the expense you would have if you were taking on a longer-term lease.”