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Pop-up shops – not just for Christmas

Christmas is coming and without doubt bringing a new selection of pop-up shops to a high street near you.

From pubs to cafes, fashion to make-up outlets, lifestyle to charity shops, the rise of pop-up shows no sign of slowing as the face of British retail continues to change.

The UK pop-up industry is currently worth more than £2.3 billion a year and almost 30 percent of British businesses now start life as a pop-up.

Once most popular at Christmas - which always seen a flurry of launches - pop-ups are now a year round fixture.

Retailers both large and small are taking advantage of the concept - Tesco is to launch pop-up eateries and wine bars across the UK in November and December, fashion retailer White Stuff will open a festive outlet in London and even Amazon is getting in on the act.

What's the appeal?

There's no doubt, the way people shop is changing with more and more shops falling empty on the high street every day.

This year, major chains including Karen Millen, Jack Wills, Patisserie Valerie and Debenhams all went into administration following hot on the heels of House of Fraser, Maplin and Poundworld in 2018.

Whilst online shopping remains as popular as ever, research shows that a growing number of people want a hands-on retail experience. One recent survey, for instance, found 49 per cent of over 55-year-olds say 'face to face customer service' is a top reason to shop in store rather than online.

Attractive prospect for landlords and tenants

At a time when so many retailers face large increases under the new business rates evaluation, the pop-up concept can be a highly attractive one for both landlords and tenants.

For landlords, there's the chance to enter into a short term agreement with a tenant on a property that might otherwise be left empty and for the tenant, there's the opportunity to perhaps test out an on-line brand or concept on the high street but without the commitment of a longer term agreement.

So, what do you need to know?

It is important to protect both parties' interests by making sure any venture complies with planning permission laws. Other considerations include:

  • Deciding on whether a lease or a licence would be best;
  • Drawing up an agreement to cover what alterations to the property are permissible during the life of the pop-op;
  • Making sure the landlord has adequate insurance in place and that the tenant has a separate policy for contents and third liability costs;
  • Ensuring any lease arrangement is flexible enough to either extend the agreement or allow early termination.

Read what else we have written about pop-ups by clicking here.

For more advice contact Wards Solicitors' Commercial Property team by phone or pop in to one of our 11 local offices

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