"I declare this shop officially open!", said minister for small business Paul Scully last Tuesday as he launched Enterprise Nation's new pop-up store on London's iconic Oxford Street.
As we all know, it has been a very tough 15 months for retail so it is wonderful to see a bunch of enthusiastic, innovative and ambitious small businesses showcasing their awesomeness in our store on Europe's busiest shopping street. Watch a video inside the shop here.
Britain's High Streets were facing challenges even before the coronavirus pandemic but Enterprise Nation believes pop-ups will play a key part in their future success. With innovative spaces like Sook, which is hosting the Hello, World shop, small businesses can book in online, display content on the digital screens throughout the store and start selling.
Online retailers experiencing physical retail
"An incredible opportunity"
Gulten Geneci, founder of jewellery company Fidan London and one of the sellers in store during the first week, said: "The pop-up was an incredible opportunity to showcase my business in person as I've always wanted to adopt a hybrid model of online and pop-up trading.
"Highlights of the day included meeting Paul Scully, the teams from Enterprise Nation and Sook and journalists. They all gave me positive encouragement, feedback and sales! It also gave me ideas for how my target audience should be widened.
"The pop-up brought legitimacy to my business and having the digital content on the screens generated more followers which have translated into new sales.
"The experience confirmed to me that the hybrid model is the right way to go and my followers have already started asking about my next pop-up!"
Tips for pop-up success
We asked some of the sellers for their tips on how to make a success of a pop-up store.
Gulten Geneci said: "Have an interactive element to the experience. We had set up a simple photobooth with our Instagram cut out and encouraged members of the public to take photos. I also had a unique discount code on the day using scratch cards which made the shopping experience more exciting.
"Study the target audience in the location of your pop-up and tailoring your design and presence tailored to them. For example, my target audience is 16-25 year olds having the Instagram cut out and photo opportunity was eye-catching and relevant.
"It is also important to have some support as it can be difficult to transition from having an online business to a swarm of people come in to look at your products. My friends made it a more enjoyable experience by taking care of certain aspects and allowing me to focus on sales and press interviews."
If I was to give one tip to others on how to use the space it would be to build your following on social media and make sure you shout about really loud about where you will be and when. Take along flyers for customers and business cards for networking. Use the space to capture content and above all have fun!"