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Shaftesbury launches ‘Soho Incubator’ retail competition

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury, which owns and manages property in London's West End, has launched a new ‘Soho Incubator’ initiative to offer “budding UK brands with sustainability” the chance to win a three-month pop-up shop this autumn/winter.

The incubator is looking for new retail talent across fashion, beauty, lifestyle and homeware who have “big dreams and great attitudes” and are ready to take the next step with a physical store to enter the competition.

The chosen emerging brand will receive a three-month rent-free shop in Soho, 5,000 pounds towards internal fit-out and business mentoring.

Entrants will be judged on their sustainability credentials, business, social media and marketing plans, creativity, design excellence and consumer appeal by a judging panel including Raeburn’s head of retail Jolyon Bexon, Shaftesbury retail director Samantha Bain-Mollison, Shaftesbury head of retail activations Emma Steele and Shaftesbury head of sustainability Matt Smith.

Shaftesbury also added that there is an opportunity for more than one brand to be chosen “depending on the quality of entrants and what are the best and most fitting brand adjacencies in Soho”.

Image: Shaftesbury

Emma Steele, head of retail activations at Shaftesbury, said in a statement: “Soho is home to many exciting independent and concept stores, so this initiative allows us to continue our support of UK-based brands and entrepreneurs.

“We are seeking creative ideas that will fit with the existing Soho retail mix. The project follows the successful Seven Dials Incubator project which saw four female entrepreneurs win pop up spaces in our Seven Dials location.”

Retail talent looking to enter have until September 1 via thisissoho.co.uk. The winner will be announced in September.