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Microshops concept hailed a success as businesses fly the nest

Microshops, the innovative concept for fledgling retailers set up 12 months ago, is already proving to be a success, with some tenants moving on to the next step of their business growth.

It is the brainchild of national commercial property and investment company LCP and enables start-up retailers, craftspeople and designers to sign up for a retail “pod” on a flexible and affordable basis.

Since launching officially in May 2021, there are six Microshops in England and Scotland in high footfall locations, including shopping centres and plazas, a total of 76 microbusinesses. A seventh is due to open later this summer.

In the past three months, six businesses in Microshops Ipswich have moved to larger, permanent premises after using their pods as an incubator when launching.

In UpMarket Penicuik, Scotland, which only launched officially in April, two of its tenants have enjoyed rapid success in their businesses and have decided to take the plunge and move to a shop unit.

Ben Chislett, managing director of retail at LCP, said: “The whole idea for Microshops is to give individuals the confidence to set up in a retail setting and build up their customer base in a relatively risk-free way because there are no lengthy leases or needing to invest thousands of pounds in a shop unit.

“The retail pods are highly versatile, providing all-inclusive, flexible contracts enabling entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow and become trusted members of the local business community. Quality is key and we’ve worked hard to create a strong brand that will become nationally recognised as synonymous with entrepreneurs and start-up.

“We’re experts in the local and convenience-led retail sector and see Microshops as a way of helping to revitalise shopping destinations and creating a welcome incubation space for microbusinesses. The fact that our nascent businesses are starting to head off to larger, permanent premises is great news as the concept is working.”

Microshops can be found in: Pavilion Shopping Centre, Thornaby-on-Tees; The Centre, Margate; The East Gate Centre, Ipswich; Govan Cross Shopping Centre, Govan Cross; Penicuik Shopping Centre, Penicuik; and The Wellington Centre, Aldershot.

All of the Microshops occupy vacated larger stores in LCP Group’s retail centres and have been carefully fitted out to create a modern and fun environment where occupiers can brand their own space.

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Inside Microshops Ipswich

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LCP is a national commercial property and investment company, headquartered in the West Midlands and one of the UK’s largest private owners and managers of retail, leisure, industrial, office and residential property. It is one of the UK’s largest owners of local- and convenience-led retail parades. It uses its intensive asset management approach to bring high quality shops, comprising high street names and independents, to communities. In total, LCP has a retail portfolio comprising more than 9.4 million square feet and more than 370 sites. LCP’s UK industrial portfolio totals more than 11.5 million sq ft of space. Its flagship industrial and business estate is The Pensnett Estate, Kingswinford, which at 185 acres is one of the largest secure industrial estates in Europe and home to almost 200 companies.

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