Dublin Retail Pop-Up Opportunity for Fledgling Businesses

by Gazette Reporter
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Champion Green and Aviva provide Readymade Retail Opportunity for Summer in Dublin

Clarendon Street, off Grafton Street in Dublin city centre, is the hot new retail destination for shoppers to ‘champion green’ this summer.

Four exciting new retail brands, and their entrepreneurial owners, are collaborating in a very original pop-up shop, showcasing fabulous artworks, gifts, sleepwear and jewellery that illustrate the creativity and quality of local enterprise.

The SMEs participated in the Champion Green Readymade Retail programme, supported by Aviva Life & Pensions (Aviva).  The initiative allows small businesses test the potential of their brands in a bricks and mortar retail setting, for a period, without the normal associated costs.

The new brands include Cotone Collection, which produces comfy, luxury ‘loungewear into sleepwear’.  The minimalistic and timeless brand, founded by Hollianne Phelan, offers the perfect sleep set for women of all ages.  (https://www.cotonecollection.ie)  

Capsule collections allow shoppers to mix and match a favourite sleep selection of tops, bottoms, and dressing gowns.  A socially and environmentally conscious brand, the Cotone Collection founder has curated an elegant collection, designed in Ireland and made in Portugal from 100% European cotton muslin, to ensure extra softness.

Pressed Flowers by Nell, (https://www.pressedflowersbynell.com) is a unique business, creating original flower artworks from bridal bouquets and other special flower arrangements.  

Nell Stritch started her award-winning business in Limerick in 2019, and is delighted that this new Dublin retail opportunity, in tandem with her design studio, will help boost sales and build product awareness.  The artist’s innovative gift collection includes cards, bookmarks, tote-bags, artworks and accessories, all based on the traditional art of flower pressing, in a stunning contemporary style.

The retail opportunity from Aviva and Champion Green sees the prime pop-up shop on Clarendon Street provided free of charge to the fledgling retailers, on a two-month rental licence, until mid-September.

Also eager to showcase her brand and business is Little Light founder, Céilí Floods, who creates meaningful jewellery with purpose.  Delicate gold-plated pieces represent a feeling, or a moment in life, from empowerment to loss, as a symbol of endurance and love.  Her pretty necklaces and bracelets are accompanied by meaningful poems, to help the recipient better process their feelings, and allow the giver to say more in an action, than they ever could in words.  (https://www.littlelight.ie)

Completing the fabulously creative new retail offering in Clarendon Street is Sarah Wickham Design.  (https://www.sarahwickhamdesigns.com)  Sarah is an Irish artist based in Dublin 6 who specialises in creating bespoke watercolours which capture life’s special moments, like a child’s first toy, a loving pet, or a location that is close to the heart.

Champion Green, Ireland’s support local initiative, organises the pop-up opportunity to encourage local brands and businesses to expand into a retail space.  Online businesses looking to grow, regional operators eager to move into the Dublin market, and small manufacturers wanting to test retail potential are among the annual Readymade Retail applicants.

Giving small businesses the opportunity to showcase and sell their products, without all the normal associated costs, provides them with some hands-on experience of the world of retail and allows business owners assess their brand and business potential with a high-street presence, Carina Galavan, Property Fund Specialist at Aviva Life & Pensions, says;

We have proudly supported Champion Green since it first launched in 2020, encouraging start-ups and providing up-and-coming SMEs with the opportunity to flourish, to expand their customer base, and to allow for face-to-face interaction with customers, something that is missing from the online sales experience.

“The opportunity for these brands and businesses to experience the potential of retail, risk-free, is unique, and we wish these four wonderful entrepreneurs every success, as they bring their original consumer offerings to this exciting area of the city centre for the summer.  

These four creative businesses, each with very different brand offerings, will share this large retail unit on Clarendon Street, allowing them to support and learn from each other, while consumers enjoy what is, practically, a small department store range and experience.”

The 2,188sq.ft. Clarendon Street pop-up shop, formerly Coco Boutique, is worth over €95,000 per annum (including estimated rent and rates; excluding utilities).  It is provided free of charge by Aviva Life & Pensions for two months, and additional prize value comes in the form of marketing supports from An Post, the Small Firms Association and Champion Green. 

An Post Commerce is providing free parcel-sending within Ireland, to support the winning brands’ online retailing, as well as a free local direct-mail campaign for the new Champion Green retail outlet, all worth €10,000 in total. 

Complimentary membership of Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland, all Champion Green supporters, is included too for each of the winning businesses, bringing the total Readymade Retail prize value to over €35,000.

Previous Readymade Retail winners include Irish design brand, Jill & Gill, sustainable goods retailer, The Kind, and Ambr Eyewear.   A Limerick city pop-up shop was also recently awarded to a number of local entrepreneurs, thanks to Limerick City and County Council, working with Champion Green.

Chair of the Readymade Retail judging panel was Marian O’Gorman, Chairperson of Kilkenny Design and Founder of Champion Green.  Champion Green is supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, in association with Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland.  The initiative is backed by a €1m investment to drive consumer support for local enterprise and to help SMEs adapt and grow business.

See championgreen.ie @championgreen #ChampionGreen #SupportLocal.

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