Small businesses, designers, entrepreneurs and brands looking to run short-burst promotions will soon be able to rent retail space on the Tube network on flexible, short-term contracts.
Transport for London has appointed pop-up shop specialists AppearHere.co.uk to hire out a selection of units in prime locations including Old Street, Piccadilly Circus, St James’s Park, and Baker Street.
The company will act as TfL’s lettings agency and earn a percentage of the money raised by each successful ‘let’.
With thousands of shoppers passing by each hour, retail units on the network are highly sought after and most units are occupied on a long term basis.
In a bid to offer commuters a more diverse mix of shops and brands, TfL says some spaces becoming vacant will be held back and made available to rent on a temporary basis.
The initiative is part of a wider strategy to improve the commuting experience while raising money from development and commercial activities in order to hold down fares.
In January Tesco and Waitrose signed deals to install collection points in six stations while InPost, a parcel delivery services for multiple retailers, is to install collection lockers at 3 stations.
TfL has also secured a commitment from baked goods retailer LOLA’s Cupcakes to open shops in five stations later this year.
The deal with Appear Here is expected to attract interest from a range of designers, artists and emerging brands who might otherwise be unable to afford prime retail locations or not need a long-term lease.
Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said: “The partnership with Appear Here will enable us to make the most of our retail assets whilst generating revenue we can reinvest into improving the transport network, benefiting all Londoners.”
Ross Bailey, CEO and Founder of Appear Here, said: “We see this as a great opportunity for innovative brands, ambitious start-ups and hungry entrepreneurs.
“Appear Here’s purpose is to help people make their ideas travel and with millions of commuters travelling on TfL’s network every day, we recognised there was a real opportunity for savvy retailers and entrepreneurs to reach their target market.”