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Property Week: Storefront plans continued global expansion

London-based pop-up retail agent Storefront has revealed plans to expand into Berlin, Shanghai and Tokyo next year.

US-focused Storefront and Europe-focused Oui Open merged earlier this year and the new firm is now headquartered in the UK, offering more than 10,000 spaces for rent in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.

Director Matthew Greenwell, who co-founded Oui Open in 2014, said the firm was targeting new cities for expansion to provide maximum choice to retailers.

“Because we’re global, retailers’ ideas can be as well, so they can translate a concept that worked in New York to London or Hong Kong,” he said.

Because we’re global, retailers’ ideas can be as well – Matthew Greenwell, Storefront

“Also, a brand based in Hong Kong can open first in New York rather than being restricted to its home city.

“We honestly feel it’s the future of retail. In the long term, we believe 20% of all shops on the high street will be short term lettings.”

The fastest-growing demand was for longer term pop-ups lasting between 6 and 18 months, said Greenwell.

Medium-sized brands really use pop-ups as a means to expand,” he said. “They get to test the market while taking out the risk. When you’re a brand in Europe, the idea of coming to London is scary and a 10-year lease is daunting, but a six-month pop-up is easy.”

Storefront lists spaces online as well as dealing directly with brands and landlords.