Startups: Have You Got the Retail Factor?
Shopping-centre owner The Mall has launched a competition for small retail businesses in each of its 13 centres nationwide, with prizes including free trading and small business mentoring.
Start-up businesses that want to trial new products in their local shopping centre should submit their plans online or to the "Ask Me Point" in their nearest Mall centre by the 20th February. Entries to The Retail Factor will be judged on innovation, commercial viability and relevance of the product to the local market. Businesses that make their region’s shortlist will be given free use of a retail merchandising unit for two weeks through to April.
Following the bi-weekly trials, a panel will pick a winner from The Mall centres in Barnsley, Blackburn, Camberley, Luton, Maidstone, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Sutton Coldfield, Uxbridge, Walthamstow and Wood Green. All 11 regional winners will receive a package worth £10,000 that includes:
- two months’ rent-free use of a shop unit at The Mall
- business mentoring from The National Skills Academy for Retail and a laptop
After the two-month free trading period, the business which makes the best sales nationwide receives a place at a week-long retail business course in Oxford at the BHF-BSSA Summer School.
The award’s 2010 winner, Delainey Fashion Accessories, launched a successful range of accessories in Gloucester’s The Mall. Owners Dolores Bowskill and Elaine Bramwell said:
“We’re so proud to hear that major national business leaders have recognised the potential of our business. The prize will make an enormous difference to Delainey Fashion Accessories, really helping us to develop it to the next level.”
The deadline for entries is 20 February 2011.
For more information and to enter the Retail Factor awards, visit The Mall website.