Start-up shop hailed a success

Town Mayor, Cllr Vera Waspe along with Sharon Brown town centre manager and Peter Down chair of the Chamber of commerce officially open the The Town Centre partnership's new shop at 15 Bury Street, Stowmarket.''FL;  Peter Down chair of the Chamber of commerce, Sharon Brown town centre manager and Town Mayor, Cllr Vera Waspe.
Town Mayor, Cllr Vera Waspe along with Sharon Brown town centre manager and Peter Down chair of the Chamber of commerce officially open the The Town Centre partnership's new shop at 15 Bury Street, Stowmarket.''FL; Peter Down chair of the Chamber of commerce, Sharon Brown town centre manager and Town Mayor, Cllr Vera Waspe.
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An innovative Stowmarket shop that gives fledgling businesses a chance to test the waters of retail has been a storming success, according to Town Centre Manager Sharon Brown.

Style@Stow at 15 Bury Street, which opened on August 8, saw six businesses move into the retail space without the risks involved in finding finances and signing leases.

Sharon said the store, which was set up by the Stowmarket Town Centre Partnership using £10,000 from the Mary Portas fund, had been such a success they were thinking of setting up a second.

“It has been a great month,” she said.

“It seems to be growing every week in terms of sales

“Some of the businesses now want to take up a bigger space in the shop and we have a new business moving to the premises in the next couple of weeks.

“Customer feedback has also been very positive, it is going really well.

“We now have to make a decision whether we should open another shop - it is a definite possibility.

“The original idea was to open one for craft and handmade things, which 15 Bury Street has become, one for fashion and accessories and one for food.”

Although the venture has been likened to a pop-up shop Sharon is keen to stress Style@Stow is something different altogether.

“Pop up shops can hire a space to sell some quick stock but this shop is really to help them build their business”, she said.

“It is about reducing the number of empty shops in the town and giving people a start in business. There is a great community spirit in there.

“The money we received from the Portas fund has been very helpful.

“Although it was only £10,000 it has enabled us to go ahead with the shop knowing we have funds to cover it for its first year.”

If you are interested in getting involved call Sharon on 07881 992775 or email sharon.stowtcm@gmail.com