Boxpark, a new pop-up mall created out of 60 shipping containers, has opened in East London's Shoreditch.
Home to more than 60 chosen fashion brands and food and drink retailers, Boxpark is a fresh retail concept from Roger Wade, creator of Boxfresh and fashion brand consultancy Brands Incorporated, in partnership between real estate developers Hammerson and the Ballymore Group.
Boxpark has stripped and refitted shipping containers to create unique, low-cost, low-risk box shops.The retail concept is situated at former railway yard, The Goodsyard, next to Shoreditch railiway, a 4.7 hectare site derelict for over 40 years.
Wade announced at the launch that Charles Dunstone, founder of Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk, has become the non-executive chairman of Boxpark Limited, making a significant investment in the business.
"Boxpark is a game-changer," Dunstone said. "The consumer wants a fresh and energetic experience that they can’t get online, and they want a hands-on introduction to new brands and products. Boxpark gives them that."
The pop-up mall is made up of 60 300sq ft retailers with 40 freight containers on the ground floor concentrating on an eclectic mix of international and UK fashion and lifestyle retailers including Puma, Dockers, Evisu and Smiley, plus Nike, which is due to open in the spring. 20 containers situated above are home to cafes and eateries including Pieminister, Crussh, Chop'd and Foxcroft & Ginger, and even charities such as Art Against Knives are on Boxpark’s tenant list. Shoppers will be encouraged to spend time upstairs and hang out in the outdoor seating environment.
"I’ve always had a love for industrial design, and shipping containers are the ultimate in industrial," Wade told WGSN. "I believe Boxpark will encourage urban regeneration – it’s all about independent brands and not high-street labels.
"The future of retail is entertainment and at Boxpark we want to entertain our customers. It’s about engaging with your customer and we believe we are the future role model for retail."
Wade also revealed that he is planning a bigger scheme in London involving entertainment, with a festival stage and a skate park, encouraging the youth market to come down and spend time there. There are also plans to build a new scheme next year in Amsterdam.