The high street is evolving and changing everywhere, and Andover is fortunate that it has considerable interest from new and small independent retail businesses still looking to set up business in the town centre. Some businesses already have an online presence but are unable to establish themselves initially because of the high costs of a shopfront. During the current lockdown period, InAndover which is run by Andover BID has established an incubator unit for a limited number of small of fledging businesses with an interesting and local product who want to experience retail trading locally without the risk of entering a long and expensive lease. We are offering this shared space to the businesses on a Free of Charge basis to get them started as part of an incubator unit. The aim is for businesses to experience the high street and then take their own unit somewhere else in the town. During this period, Andover BID will support the businesses through marketing and professional one-to-one business support.
Andover BID is delighted to have come to an agreement with TVBC to take one of the vacant units in The Chantry Centre and we are branding it InAndover Shop Local and offering it as a retail offer to between 6 and 8 individual businesses who are happy to share the space.
This attractive business offer’s a limited RENT-FREE opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and experience a retail environment. The offer is to businesses who do not currently have a shop front in the town, they may be online, or very small and starting out so perhaps new or fledgling businesses. The aim is to bring more independent businesses into the town centre and to allow them to experience the benefits of retail. If they are successful, they will be supported and encouraged to expand and then take their own units. Every business when starting or very small deserves an opportunity and BID through InAndover believe that it is doing this.
Type of business
BID is not putting limitations on who can apply to share the unit but are clear that the offer must compliment other independents and businesses that are already in the town and are therefore looking for quality, great customer service and a local connection to Andover or Test Valley and a commitment from the business to make this work by ensuring proper and trained staffing.
Diversity & mix
More diversity and a greater offer of small and independent businesses in our town helps to drive footfall and stimulate interest. Research shows that people will come into town if there is a mix of different businesses able to offer customers a pleasant and interesting experience.
Businesses already interested.
BID already has three businesses who have asked to come into the unit and are looking for another 3 or 4 to join them. They will be encouraged to trade under their own name with a collaborative joint shop local name – for example if the business is called ‘Honey Lodge’ it would be marketed as ‘Honey Lodge InAndover Shop Local’’.
Support for the businesses
As well as offering a shared space in a RENT-FREE unit, the space is being designed as a light and bright attractive shop with a lovely frontage and smart signage, along with a window display of InAndover Shop Local.
InAndover through Andover BID will promote these businesses, as they do already for others in the town, so marketing support is available. This will be through social media, videos, InAndover, radio and the press as well in Andover’s other communications to ensure businesses have wide exposure and coverage locally. In addition, businesses will provide a package of specific one-to-one specialist business support and advice to get the business up and running.
Supported by Test Valley Borough Council in collaboration with Andover BID
To apply for a space in the unit.
Go to the InAndover website – shared shop. https://www.inandover.co.uk/shared-shop/