Pop-up shops arrive at Old Street Tube station

22 April 2014

Transport for London (TfL) has today (22 April 2014) launched Old Street station as its first innovative retail destination with seven new pop-up shops opening.

The pop-up shops will complement existing retailers at the station as TfL continues to broaden the retail offering available for customers using the transport network.  

Over 11m journeys take place on our public transport network every day and the pop up shops form part of TfL’s vision for the future of London Underground to modernise and improve our stations to introduce new services that our customers want.  

In March 2014, TfL announced that it had appointed Appear Here, the largest online marketplace for short-term retail space, to set up pop-up shops, bringing a variety of new and innovative retailers across its retail estate.

Around 22 million people use Old Street station each year and given its proximity to Tech City, TfL chose it as its first dedicated pop-up shop location to reflect its creative and innovative location.  

Since March, Appear Here has been marketing the retail units to the industry with great success, and the first seven retailers to launch at Old Street station are:  

  • Driftrock, an online marketing company helping small to medium size businesses with their digital marketing;   
  • Bailey Nelson, a stylish new optical brand
  • Fully Charged, an innovative new electric bike company
  • Mallow and Marsh, a handmade marshmallow company
  • Spoon Cereals, a new breakfast cereal company
  • Press London, a cold pressed juice company
  • Makers Academy, 12 week computer programming bootcamp for people with little or no experience in computer programming   

An additional unit is expected to open later this year.  

Alongside the pop-up shops, TfL has also improved the look of Old Street station by appointing design consultancy, Tait, to improve the appearance of the shop units, signage and passageways at the station, making it easier for customers to navigate their way around the area.

The pop-up shops form part of TfL’s Commercial Development strategy, currently forecast to raise £3.5bn over the next ten years, all of which will be reinvested back into the public transport network.

TfL is also seeking to transform the services on offer to its customers who make an average of over 11 million journeys every day.  

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said: “We are delighted with the vibrant and diverse line-up that is launching what we hope will be the first of many successful pop-up shops at Old Street station. Pop-up shops provide an opportunity for new and existing retailers to showcase their innovative products and services to the millions of people who use the station each year. We are always looking at ways to improve the experience for our customers. We are looking forward to working with these fantastic businesses. We would also welcome discussions with other people who have great ideas that they would like to share with our millions of customers, either at Old Street or elsewhere.”  

Available to rent through AppearHere.co.uk, TfL also has pop-up shops available at other key station such as St. James’s Park, Piccadilly Circus and Baker Street, providing exciting retail opportunities for London commuters.  

Ross Bailey, CEO and Founder of Appear Here, said: “We’re excited to have Old Street Underground join our growing collection of great destinations on the Appear Here marketplace. It’s a step forward in our mission to help people share their ideas in front of the right audience, in amazing spaces, anywhere. Seeing so many exciting brands launch in Old Street Station and embracing physical space for the first time, shows that even today in the tech capital of Europe, setting up shop still has value.”  

Robert Rosser, Creative Director at Tait, said: “We were incredibly excited when TfL brought us in as the retail design consultant and creative lead on such an innovative enterprise. We’ve addressed the retail offer by creating new gallery-like bite size units, as well as creating a fresh vibrant look for the existing tenants. We’ve been able to accentuate the great retail already on offer and revitalise their look and create a platform for the retail to re-engage with the regular commuter.  When willing to adapt, and through investment in design, there is a strong future for bricks and mortar retail.    We’ve also re-designed the wayfinding system that takes you from ticket hall to street level. Each subway has been given an immersive colour wrap and numbering system to aid navigation, in an exuberant 'digital ribbon' design that responds to the tech-based locality."  

TfL continues to work with exiting retailers on its network whilst reviewing new commercial opportunities.

In January 2014, it announced that it was working with Asda, Tesco, Waitrose and automated parcel Locker Company InPost  to establish 'click and collect' facilities at London Underground station car parks to transform and diversify the services on offer to customers as they move around the transport network.

TfL is also working with LOLA’s Cupcakes and Rockflower to bring their services to its customers.  

Images are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tflpress/sets/72157642194352565/  

More information about taking up a pop-up unit is available at AppearHere.co.uk  

TfL has Wi-Fi at 131 stations through Virgin Media, keeping customers connected whilst on the move.  

Quotes from retailers: Ben Jaconelli, Founder of Fully Charged.com, said:  “Old Street Tube station offers us a fantastic and unique opportunity to open an e-bike shop, underground, in the innovative retail destination that is Old Street. E-bikes offer everyone a healthy, green and stylish alternative to public transport, without the need to shower on arrival. We’re looking forward to showing our full range of e-bikes to commuters and visitors alike at Old Street.”  

Matt Wheeler, CEO at Driftrock.com, said: “Driftrock is an online business run by people, not bits and bytes. The offline store allows us to meet and help anyone wanting to grow their business online face-to-face. The digital advertising world is often complicated and confusing, so explaining things in person helps us demystify many of the techniques that can help businesses grow through online marketing. The internet has the power to give ideas the audience they deserve, and our goal is to help as many brands make this a reality as possible. The launch of our pop up shop in collaboration with TFL and Appear Here is the first step in achieving this.”  

Harriot Pleydell-Bouverie, Founder of Mallow and Marsh, said: “We are very excited about the Pop-up. It is fantastic location and a great way for us to increase our brand recognition, interact directly with our customers, and get genuine, honest feedback on our products. It’s the kind of exposure, marketing and recognition that small companies can't normally afford. The pop up is providing a fantastic platform for us to test the market, and interact directly with our customers, getting genuine, honest feedback.”  

Jonny Shimmin, co-founder of Spoon Cereals, said: “The area around Old Street is a busy, vibrant and boundary-pushing community, which is why we felt that it would be the perfect place to set-up for Spoon. Our cereals and toppings are adventurous, energy-filled and packed with wholesome ingredients and we think the commuters and residents alike will love them to start their day. ”  

Jordan Poulton of Makers Academy, said: “At Makers Academy, we're creating the developers that will fuel the UK tech industry for years to come. When we were offered the chance to run a popup shop in Old Street Station, right under the Silicon Roundabout itself, the offer was simply too good to refuse. If anybody out there is interested learning to code - pop down for a chat next week!”  

Ben Moffitt, co founder of Bailey Nelson, said: “We went into Old St because we're simply excited to be part of yet another development that reiterates why London is one of the most progressive places to live and do business on the planet.”  

About Appear Here

Appear Here is an online platform connecting retail landlords with tenants in need of short term retail space. Appear Here operates nationwide listing vacant space in Bath, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Manchester. Over 3,000 brands and businesses have signed up to Appear Here, giving them access to over 250 high quality spaces.  Appear Here recently received investment from backers of a £1 million funding round. Howzat Partners (backers of Trivago), MMC Ventures (backers of AlexandAlexa) and Forward Investment Partners (existing investors and backers of uSwitch and Hailo). Other participants in this round include Meyer Bergman, Playfair Capital and Ballpark Ventures, as well as Marc Hazan (of Spotify) and Miroma Ventures (investors in Pinterest).  

About Tait

Tait is an integrated design agency specialising in retail environments.  Tait designs for both landlord and tenant, creating concepts for individual retailers as well as shopping centre environments. As retail design specialists, Tait’s working relationships are fundamental to bringing about tangible change to the consumer experience. This 360º understanding of retail ensures concepts are always underscored with in-depth technical and commercial insight.   Tait is part of CADS Group, and has recently appointed Robert Rosser and Holly Simpson (both previously of Dalziel and Pow) to significantly strengthen the creative and graphics side of the business. The ground-breaking collaboration with TfL on re-inventing Old Street underscores the company’s strategic intent to further extend its reputation as a significant creative force within the UK retail design sector.