Here in Manchester there are still plenty of vacant units across the city with areas such as King Street and The Triangle being the most affected. Even the highest footfall areas such as Market Street and Arndale Centre are not immune from this blight.
The brand Maharishi came to the Fashion Network looking for help and to tap into our knowledge of the North West, ranging from landlords to consumers. After a successful four day “pop up” sale before Christmas we opened the temporary Maharishi store in Exchange Square earlier this month.
With the right product and shopping experience, brands can see success exploring new cities taking advantage of a market place they have never really utilised.
We’re keen to introduce new and exciting brands to the city of Manchester and inject a bit of life back into the areas which have been hit so badly. By opening ‘pop up shops’ in empty units we can begin to offer consumers a fresh and engaging shopping experience.
A lot of work still needs to be done convincing the landlords and letting agents that this is an alternative road to take. Some landlords are still holding out for the good old days of high rents to return, that may never happen. Empty units equal unhealthy high streets and if we all work together in the short-term maybe UK retail can become an exciting place again.
Using our extensive network we’re venturing into the realm of retail and from this positive start I can see a mass of potential. I hope more brands will be brave enough to battle it out and try something new.