I love this idea – shops renting space on their shelves to other local people to sell their stuff.
“HARDLY ORIGINAL” – said Mrs W – quite rightly - there’s a shop called Selfridges that’s made a living from the thought – in fact like most retailers - for years. Brand’s, other retailers, all kinds of other businesses find a home in somebody else’s space most of the time so what’s different about this??
Well I don’t think anything’s that different, the exciting bit is that I want everyone with a local shop or outlet to think about it – that’s all.
I can think of loads of shops in the area who have more space than they have stock, or who have non core stock that just doesn’t sell fast enough to justify the space it takes up.
If my local chemist would give up thinking that the stuff he sells front of house – all of which everyone buys at Tescobury’s for less money - will ever make him money OR look like an inviting retail offer to his customers then he’ll be crossing something of a Retail Rubicon. The fact is – the guy is an amazing Chemist. The levels of customer service are quite exceptional, they try harder, go further, work harder than any business I know, but they shouldn’t also try to sell shampoo and photographic developing (!).
They should think about changing the shop altogether and making that space available to people who might make greater use of it – there are lots of juice makers, health product providers, on-the-spot massage experts who could make that space live and breathe and be really exciting again.
Years ago they used to call it “Retail-tainment” – dreadful phrase but descriptive enough for making shops that have got a bit tired becoming more exciting again by collaborating with other local providers. Valeri in Sheps Bush needs more places to sell her glorious cupcakes – she doesn’t want a shop, she wants a shelf, the same is true of Lee and her beautiful artworks and loads of other people I know.
It’s not a new idea at all but I found the new version of it – “der Flohmarkt in Laden’, which can be translated as “a flea market on shelves” to be an intriguing and energetic version that in itself makes a re-think worthwhile.
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