Are Consumers the New Retailers?

This week, I was invited to take part in a panel discussion on the topic of 'Are Consumers the New Retailers?' It formed part of the Appear Here Innovation hub at the BCSC 2014 (British Council of Shopping Centres) retail property event at London's Kensington Olympia.

Appear Here are an organisation that help businesses find spaces for pop ups across the UK and in their own words, “BCSC is the professional body for retail property - an authoritative voice for UK retail-led regeneration and for the management of and investment in shopping places”. 

Image Credit:  Appear Here

Image Credit: Appear Here

Joining me on the panel were Tim from YR Store, Jonny from Spoon Cereals and Gabe from Black Sheep Coffee. Like Crafty Fox Market, these fledgling businesses have used pop ups as an effective way to test ideas and build a following.

It was really interesting to hear the contrasting stories behind each company and the different ways pop-ups have been used by each one. Crafty Fox stood out as a different type of business than the others with a much more organic pace of growth. I enjoyed the opportunity to tell the Crafty Fox story, where we have come from and our plans for the future.

We took several audience questions including whether the large numbers of people looking to run pop-ups in vacant buildings was unique to London. Landlords from other parts of the country were eager to hear how they could find tenants with fresh ideas in an effort to revive their high streets.

During my visit to the show I was delighted to bump into Supermarket Sarah.  Sarah is one of the guest curators for our forthcoming Christmas Markets.  Taking part in the We Are PopUp Stand, Sarah had constructed an eye-catching wonderwall which looked great. 

Photo Credit:  Supermarket Sarah

Photo Credit: Supermarket Sarah

Sarah will be creating our very own Crafty Fox Market wonderwall featuring the wonderful hand made products from different makers taking place in the market at our Peckham event (13 & 14 December - CLF Art Cafe, Bussey Building). 

Don’t forget, applications are still open for our Christmas markets in Dalston, Brixton and Peckham.  If you would like the opportunity to trade at any of our three Christmas events please apply here.