Intu trials direct retailing with local coffee shop
Shopping centre owner Intu is piloting a new scheme where it launches its own community based stores to promote independent retailers and small brands.
The move to direct retailing is being tested through the launch of the Birdhouse Café in Intu’s Broadmarsh centre in Nottingham.
Intu said each venture will operate as a standalone tenant led by a retail specialist and run in partnership with local suppliers.
In Nottingham, the Birdhouse Café works with firms such as coffee roastery 200 Degrees, the Ugly Bread Bakery and soft drink specialist Belvoi. It also provides space for retailers and small brands.
Trevor Pereira, commercial director at Intu, said: “We wanted to test whether a landlord can make this kind of move into direct retailing and explore the benefits it would provide our visitors, existing brands and the wider community.
“It was important to us that the new business we created would operate as a standalone venture with its own team who would have to face the same challenges as any other retailer, so that we could really test the concept.”
Pereira said the Birdhouse Café is already providing a strong platform for independent retailers.
He added: “Our ambition is to grow this concept at other Intu destinations across the UK as part of our new strategy to transform our centres and nurture the best brands.”
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