Feb. 17 - A new 'pop up mall' concept called BoxPark has turned a once scruffy stretch of east London into an eye-catching retail complex, composed of converted shipping containers. Hayley Platt reports.
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You've heard of pop up shops. Well, this is a pop up mall.
BoxPark, situated in the heart of London's east end, is where retail meets shipping container…literally.
Sophie Powell is the manager of the fittingly named fashion brand Irregular Choice.
SOUNDBITE: Sophie , Manager, Irregular Choice, saying (English):
"BoxPark literally popped up in a week and so people have been a bit confused as to whether it's been here all the time and never noticed it so they're very excited about it. It's also nice for office workers to pop down on their lunch break."
Britain's high streets have been hit hard by the economic downturn with many shops closing down.
BoxPark's founder Roger Wade says this complex offers flexibility that is rare in bricks and mortar stores.
Roger Wade, founder of BoxPark, saying (English):
"It's really tough to get good space in the high street because simply landlords want you to sign up for ten years. With BoxPark we never look at anyone's financial contribution, we never look at a balance sheet, we just look at the strength of the brand and if it's the right brand we ask them to join us. If they want to sign up for 1 year that's great and if they want to sign up for 3 years or 5 years that's even better."
Norwegian firm OnePiece chose BoxPark to open their first stand-alone store in the UK.
Their all-in-one jumpsuits - nicknamed the onesie - were a Christmas best seller.
Edward Willimason, sales assistant, OnePiece, saying (English):
"It's been received really really well actually, people who've never seen it come in and buy them just through impluse. We always say if somebody comes in and they try it, they buy it."
Pieminister already had six restaurants in the UK. They recently opened their seventh here.
SOUNDBITE: David Toole, London Manager for PieMinster, saying (English):
"We're very close to the Olympics, Stratford is just down the road so that's why we're here really. We're hoping to capitalise on that and get some good summer trade from that."
The appeal of pop up retail is that it's here today and gone tomorrow.
Well, this mall will be here for 5 years and there are others planned for London and Amsterdam.
This is outside the box thinking that may just prove to have staying power.
Hayley Platt, Reuters.
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