University graduate launches pop-up shop in Northampton to help businesses get into retail

Pop Up Northampton
Pop Up Northampton

Pop Up Northampton is opening its first shop in the town centre next weekend.

This initiative has been set up by Northampton University graduate Yoshe Watson and works to put local start-ups into their first retail spaces as pop-up shops and tackle the issue of retail spaces sitting empty – by creating a series of fresh, innovative pop-up shops. It has been supported by Northampton Borough Council and the Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.

The shop will open on Saturday November 21 at 4 Mercers Row.

Yoshe said the initiative aims to “put people at the heart of retail”, by creating pop-up shops that bring the entrepreneurs and manufacturers behind them to the forefront of everything they do.

“For example, each shop will host launch events that will enable the customers to meet with the entrepreneurs and manufacturers, and hear from them in talks about their ideas and processes,” Yoshe added.

“The shops will also feature industry workshops- in which customers can get involved with and learn about the creative process behind the products they’re buying. It’s all about bringing people together through shopping, and helping customers to connect with where their products come from- especially by focusing on locally produced products. “

The first pop-up shop of this project will be a real ale and craft beer shop called The One Stop Hop Shop. This business has been set up by local entrepreneur and self-confessed “beer nerd” Ed Garner, who has been working hard to liaise with a range of local breweries and scout out the best products to bring together in his shop. Ed is currently working with Pop Up Northampton to kit out the shop and get everything ready for the big launch.

The official launch will be held on Saturday November 21, and will offer promotional deals throughout the day and live music in the evening. A private opening will be held on the evening of Friday November 20, details of how to win tickets to this will be announced on Pop Up Northampton and The One Stop Hop Shop’s Facebook pages later this week.

Director Yoshe Watson added: “Last year, I kept hearing local businesses saying they wanted to have shops in the town centre- but were put off by the costs of setting up and the risk of early closure.

“Around the same time, I kept hearing people complain that shops in Northampton were sitting empty and bringing down the feel of the place.

“I thought there had to be a way to solve both of these problems with one solution- and so Pop Up Northampton was born. I’m really enjoying working with some brilliant local start-ups, and I can’t wait for our first shop to open next Saturday.”