Londoners, Do You Have the Retail Factor?

The Retail FactorThe Mall Wood Green is set to launch a campaign to give retail entrepreneurs of the future their first big break.

The Mall Wood Green, in association with The Haringey Independent, this week launches its fifth annual campaign to support budding retail entrepreneurs, a drive which will enable several lucky would-be shopkeepers over the next few months to turn their dream of opening their own shop into a reality. Prospective retail tycoons who aspire to follow in the footsteps of luminaries such as Sir Phillip Green, of the Arcadia Group or Dame Anita Roddick of The Body Shop, can enjoy prizes such as rent-free space to trade in a busy shopping centre and business mentoring, should they be successful. The winning package is worth £500 in cash plus free retail space to the winner, who will also be entered into a national competition for an even bigger prize.

Local competitors whose applications impress the judges will make the regional shortlist and be able to take advantage of a retail merchandising unit in the shopping centre to set up their own pop-up shop for two weeks. This will give the local would-be retailer the opportunity to showcase their wares, test out their business acumen and find out whether their retail dream could become a retail reality.

A panel of judges has been assembled to assess each retail entrepreneur on the shortlist. The panel, which includes The Mall senior management team, previous Retail Factor winners and store managers from other shops in The Mall, will be judging each pop-up shop on a range of criteria. These include innovation, commercial viability and relevance of the product or range to the local marketplace.

The Mall will not only provide shop space free of charge but also some management guidelines to assist their endeavour and local marketing support, encouraging shoppers to get behind the initiative by going and experiencing the pop-up shops and, of course, hopefully buying some of the goods on sale.

The Mall Wood Green’s winner will be announced 16 April 2012 and will be awarded two months’ rent-free space to trade and the opportunity to market their business to millions of shoppers every week. They will also be entered into The Mall’s national competition and will go head to head with local winners at each of the eight other shopping centres across the UK*.

After this two-month period, key business figures from The Mall nationwide, including the Managing Director, will identify a national winner. The trader will be provided with the opportunity to take a place at a prestigious week-long retail business course in Oxford at the BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association).

Michael Thompson, General Manager at The Mall Wood Green commented:

“We are sure there are some budding retail stars out there. All they need is an opportunity like this to get their foot on the ladder. We believe this will also be an exciting time for our customers with new pop-up shops, stocking exciting ranges appearing regularly during the course of the competition.”

Any budding entrepreneurs who may be put off by the idea of starting a new business during the recession should be reassured by the fact that some of the world’s most exciting brands and biggest employers launched in a downturn. These include: IBM (1896), Burger King (1953), Disney (1923), Microsoft (1975) and Apple (1975 and then essentially relaunched in 2001).

To enter The Retail Factor, please submit an application form online or to the ‘Ask Me Point’ in The Mall Wood Green by 12 February 2012.

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