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By Matthew Robinson
Shoreditch has seen the birth of a new generation of retail with the emergence of the world’s first pop-up mall. BOXPARK Shoreditch, opened in 2011 for only 5 years, is a shopping, dining, and cultural hub found in the very heart of East London, which has revolutionized our retail experience, and most importantly how new brands go about building a business in an industry over-saturated with globally famous brands, and in a city where rents are simply too high.
BOXPARK is nothing more than a series of stripped shipping containers, but after being refitted and redesigned, they have been transformed into a series of low cost, unique, modern retail units, offering valuable space for retailers in the heart of one of the most vibrant parts of London. It creates a retail destination with a multitude of international fashion designers, lifestyle shops, galleries and cafes, and so it serves as more than merely a shopping location, but rather a perfect destination to experience the best that East London has to offer.
London is famed for its extensive support of new up and coming designers in the difficult transition phase between innovation and the creation of a financially viable business, and BOXPARK is a further example of this. With retail space in the centre of one of London’s most popular shopping areas near Brick Lane, Spitalfields and Liverpool Street, it allows designers to reach their key consumers when they otherwise simply wouldn’t have been able to. BOXPARK does more than promote a new way of retail; it fosters young talent, making London one of the most diverse and culturally rich cities on earth.
Unlike most shipping container parks, it doesn’t aim to be intrusive or ugly; rather it focuses on becoming a vital part of the local community, adding commerce, colour, creativity, and of course attracting tourists and shoppers alike to the area. It is a dynamic shopping experience that draws talent, creativity and innovation from around the city and puts fashion back where it belongs; on the street. And it isn’t only unknown new designers which are snapping up the opportunity of this space, but also globally recognised brands such as Lacoste, Nike and Monkee Jeans. And in view of the support that it has already received, it may well become the shopping experience of the future.
BOXPARK is both local and global, forging itself a central position in the community whilst being in one place, but it is mobile in its design, and is intended to be transported around the world. So BOXPARK may become part of your own community in the not too distant future.