Local News

July 25, 2013

Pop-Up London: Existing businesses partner for profits


Do you have a product or business idea but don’t have the place to promote it?

A new program launched by London Downtown may be just the answer you need.

Chris Robinson, executive director of London Downtown, proposed the idea of Pop Up London to members of the London-Laurel County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, encouraging them to help local entrepreneurs to market their products.

“Pop-Up London is an initiative to discover entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to partner their products or services with existing retail businesses or vacant spaces,” Robinson said.

“Pop up” products can be marketed in existing businesses and help individuals to market their products before making a long-term investment in a storefront that might not be successful. Robinson gave several examples of partnerships between businesses that have proven successful, including the art of Emily Lackey in Carousel Florist.

“Emily Lackey leased the loft of Carousel Florist, but when she moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., she marketed her art in Carousel,” Robinson said.

“Another example is when Weaver’s (Hot Dogs) expanded, they wanted to add deserts to their menu. They were worrying about how they would find time to make deserts,” Robinson explained. “Parrott’s Pies and Pastries is located a couple of miles north of London in the Pittsburg community, away from downtown London. So now they make deserts and bring them to Weaver’s and Weaver’s sells them.”

“Pop Up” stores may be a temporary business, a one-day sale, or shared space with another business. London Downtown will be seeking local bakers, artists, designers, and other creative persons to participate in the venture.

“Pop-Up businesses, businesses within a business, and sharing space are a big trend in retail right now. This will be an ongoing initiative as we attempt to build a list of people who are interested in these concepts and have a product that we can  help promote,” Robinson said.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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