Startup High Street by @startupbritain for #indieretail

In recent times, the plight of the High Street has become an emotive subject. Once considered an integral part of the community, the face of the High Street has changed with the growing economic uncertainty. Shop closures have become a far too familiar sight across the country and more and more fledgling start-ups have taken their business online meaning that this cycle will take some reversing in order to rejuvenate the UK’s flagging High Street scene.

StartUp High Street

One exciting initiative, which was announced yesterday by StartUp Britain, offers to help hundreds of young start-ups desperate for an outlet. In a bid to boost enterprise and retail growth, StartUp High Street, has the backing of the Business Secretary Vince Cable as well as the Enterprise Minister Lord Young.

Pop-Up Britain!

A pilot store in Richmond called PopUp Britain will open later this month, providing retail space for six new businesses. The initiative has ambitious plans to open shops across the country, giving small start-ups a fantastic opportunity to grow and become a part of their local High Street. Small businesses will be given the chance to test their market base, as well as offered the support that they need to launch their venture.

StartUp High Street, builds upon the recent political interest into how the Government plans to implement certain innovations that were highlighted by last year’s Portas Review into town centres. Debates in parliament have focused on using empty shops to support new businesses, and this is one of the priorities of the industry-led taskforce set up as a response to the Review.  The taskforce are looking into ways of encouraging landlords to make vacant retail space available for use, as well as introducing the community right to bid, which in theory would help local people sustain their vital community assets.

With the support of prominent retail entrepreneurs including Sir Charles Dunstone, Luke Johnson and Mary Portas; I sincerely hope this concept will help invigorate the High Street and give hundreds of young businesses a sporting chance.

This blog was provided by the Startup Britain Team. StartUp Britain, StartUp High Street and Pop-Up Britain are all creations of entrepreneur, Emma Jones.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email
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