Investor and asset manager LCP has launched a concept it hopes will attract fledgling retailers to empty shopping centre units.
LCP is introducing Microshops to spaces in eight UK towns where it owns and manages retail centres, including the Hardshaw Centre in St Helens, where 14 pods have been created at the former Argos store.
To date, a babywear retailer, a Turkish food takeaway, a rock memorabilia clothing store and a bath/shower conversions business have signed at St Helens.
The company said that “dozens” of start-up retailers – including bakers, jewellers, clothing sellers, wax melts and candlemakers, art galleries, florists, music producers, writers, record sellers and cafes – have signed up to the pods nationally.
Lisa McAlinden, property manager at LCP, said that benefits to traders include the versatility of the retail pods and the all-inclusive, flexible contracts available on a rolling quarterly basis.
“We’re excited by the possibilities of Microshops for would-be entrepreneurs who have started their business online but want to move into bricks and mortar without committing thousands of pounds to it,” she said.
“As experts in the local and convenience-led retail sector, we’ve been looking at how we can play our part in revitalising the towns in which we operate.
McAlinden continued: “We are committed to ensuring this is a high-quality brand that will become nationally recognised as synonymous with entrepreneurs and start-ups who want to create, build and sell without the worry of extra costs.
“We’ve been working on the concept for over a year and are pleased to have rolled it out to our first eight centres and are looking forward to introducing more Microshops over the next few months.”
LCP – London & Cambridge Properties – manages retail holdings in towns across the North West, including Oldham, Bebington, Stockport and Skelmersdale, where it is working with Threadneedle to convert retail to leisure space at the Concourse Shopping Centre.