Landsec is taking part in a major campaign to find the next generation of retail talent by offering free space and marketing support to stand-out retail concepts at St David’s Dewi Sant.
HATCH by Revo, which represents the retail community, is backed by some of the biggest names in retail property, including Landsec, Hammerson, Westfield, M&G Real Estate, Harcourt and Ellandi. Together, with the British Independent Retailers Association (bira), they will run a Dragon’s Den style competition offering free space and expert marketing advice in their retail places to up-and-coming retail businesses.
There are no restrictions on what type of businesses can enter. Anyone from online-only outlets looking to experiment with a physical presence, to fashion stalls wanting a bigger premises, can apply.
Entrants can apply online here. The competition will run for two months, with winners announced in May. The offer at St David’s Dewi Sant will benefit from mall space; free rent, rates and service charge. They will also receive professional marketing and business support to help promote their concept and a year’s free bira membership, which includes a unique retail insurance scheme, card processing, free legal advice and preferential banking rates.
St David’s Dewi Sant is the main retail destination in Cardiff with approximately 1,400,000 sq ft of retail space, that transformed the Welsh capital into one of UK’s top retail destinations. Footfall in the past year was 38 million, with an average dwell time of 101 minutes with an average spend of £124.
Newspaper headlines have focused a lot on retail in recent months, as the high street and traditional bricks-and-mortar shops grapple with political uncertainty and weak wage growth, which have all weighed down on consumer spending. Higher costs such as the new National Living Wage and an unreformed business rates system pose additional challenges too.
The pop-up retail market is worth at least £2.3bn while major retailers, including e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, are opening pop-ups of their own.
Revo is warning urgent action is needed by government at both a local and national level, such as reforming business rates to level the playing field between online and physical retailers as well as additional help for the high street, to help the industry weather the challenges it faces.
Samantha Sen, Head of Policy and Campaigns from Revo, said
“Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy and a source of great creativity and innovation. We believe that the retail success stories of tomorrow will come from today’s pop-up shops, kiosks, and e-tailers as dozens of brands and chains we now know and love have proven. Innocent Drinks for example started as a stall at a music festival!
“However, HATCH is about more than just identifying the next wave of entrepreneurs and talent who will shape – it is a demonstration of the industry’s commitment to invest in the communities we are embedded in. Yet there is only so much the industry itself can do, we need to see urgent action from government at all levels to reduce the burden on retailers and revitalise our high streets.”