Roger Wade, founder of pop-up mall Boxpark in London’s Shoreditch, is to launch a trade show to give brands that have signed up to the scheme a platform to showcase future collections to the trade.
The trade show, which will also be called Boxpark, will run for two or three days each season when Boxpark will be closed to the public and the units remerchandised to allow trade buyers to view the brands’ product for the following season. The first show will take place ahead of the retail opening on a yet-to-be-decided date in August.
Wade said the decision to launch a trade show, as well as hold dedicated press days for the brands, came after brands told him they wanted to be able to show their wholesale product in their “own environment”.
Wade said: “By popular request we are going to launch a Boxpark trade show. The whole idea has evolved so that it is not just 52 weeks of retail but two trade shows a year.”
Entry to the show will be free to visitors. Brands in the scheme will contribute to marketing the event with an annual contribution of £1,000.
David Newman, Supremebeing managing director, said: “It will look more like a trade show [in a retail environment]; you’ll get your own creative space. It may bring more public attention as it’s not locked away in Earls Court or Tempelhof Airport, Berlin, so it could create a lot more buzz and public interest.”
Religion founder Darren Collins said: “With the area and having [private members’ club] Shoreditch House nearby, I think it will be a destination trade show.”
Meanwhile, Wade told Drapers that Boxpark, which will be built from 40 shipping containers and will feature a food hall and art gallery, was already 50% let ahead of the scheme’s opening in August.
Brands including Religion, Elvis Jesus and Supremebeing confirmed they were close to signing leases for units. Wade is also targeting higher-end designer brands to join the mix to replicate the multi-tiered offers at retailers such as super indie Sarah Coggles in York and department store Selfridges.