A new pop-up shop in Wigan town centre is now open for business just in time for the Christmas rush.
Wigan Council and The Galleries have worked together over recent weeks to fit out a vacant store next to Uptown Diner in the Makinson Arcade, which can be rented out on a weekly basis to business owners and start-up companies wanting to try out the local market.
Retailers can book a slot of up to six weeks in the space, which is fittingly named ‘The Pop-Up Shop’, and is part of the town hall’s plan to encourage new businesses to come to the town centre.
Christine Roper is the owner of Jodie’s Flat, a clothing store selling ladies fashion wear.
Jodie’s Flat is the first business to try out The Pop-Up Shop. Christine opened the store on Saturday 1st December, which was also Small Business Saturday and will be available for custom throughout December, Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm.
She already has a store in Over Hulton but is looking into the possibility of opening another shop in Wigan.
Christine said: “Opening a shop is a big commitment and if it doesn’t go well, you can lose a lot of time, money and confidence. My shop in Over Hulton is doing really well, which is why I’m looking into expanding.
“The Pop-Up Shop is the perfect opportunity to essentially ‘try-before-I-buy’ and check out the market and footfall before making up my mind on whether to open a store in the town centre. I’m really looking forward to what the next month will bring.”
The Pop-Up Shop is also perfect for companies who do not want the commitment of maintaining and running premises full-time and would instead prefer to boost their income at peak periods throughout the year.
Business owners can book a slot in the shop for up to six weeks at a time for a weekly cost, which includes WiFi access, tills and all shelving and display units.
Councillor David Molyneux, leader of the council said: “The Pop-Up Shop is an innovative way to inspire people to try out their ideas and to encourage new businesses to set up shop in the borough.
“This approach will help to keep the town centre offer new and interesting and provides an opportunity to small businesses or those who work from home to boost their income – specifically around national days or events relating to their products, such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas.
“I sincerely hope that Christine finds this opportunity useful and that we will see her permanently in the town centre in the near future. I also look forward to seeing what other businesses come forward to showcase their products in The Pop-Up Shop.”
The store windows can also be used for brand awareness, advertising or to support national campaigns, providing there is no business operating from the store at that time.
The Pop-Up Shop follows the recent announcement of The Wigan Emporium, another pop-up shop near Home Bargains, which is home to seven businesses that attended October’s Pop-Up Business School course.
The Wigan Emporium will only be open for three weekends in December, Friday-Sunday.
If you’re starting up your own business, or would like to try out The Pop-Up Shop, please contact Peter Hadfield, 0161 711 0514.
For more information about Christine’s business, search Jodie’s Flat on Facebook