In Store for Sidcup / by Nick Ierodiaconou

In the last 15 years high streets have been in steep decline, with customers choosing more convenient shopping alternatives online and in out of town shopping centres.

In response to this London Borough of Bexley has secured funding to help the Sidcup community explore new opportunities to kick start the high street and help it become the centre of the community again.

Between July and October the In Store For Sidcup team will be entering into their test phase for their new shared retail incubator space and as such part of their HQ will be transformed into a Box Shop (co-designed by Architecture 00 and featuring fittings by OpenDesk), a retail incubator to grow new shops for Sidcup, providing business entrepreneurs with a low risk opportunity to have a presence on the high street.

Box Shop is a single shop that has lots of different sized and shaped boxes inside - some of them larger, similar to market stalls. Each box, or stall, is available to rent to an entrepreneur who would like to sell their goods on the high street. A group of box retailers work collaboratively to man the shop, host events and activities and raise awareness of the shop and the goods.

This means that people who are interested to start a retail business are able to get going much sooner and with less risk that taking on a whole shop by themselves, with support from trading alongside other box retailers. Shoppers on Sidcup high street will have access to a wider range of goods, plus the sorts of social activities and workshops that many people have said they would like to see more of.

You can join in the conversation, share your views and keep up to date with progress by liking the In Store For Sidcup facebook page, and following @instore4sidcup.

- DS