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4 creative shop designs led by Retail Ready volunteers

It’s been one year, 60 volunteers, 7,000 volunteer hours and four pop-up shops since our Retail Ready People programme first opened its doors.

Retail Ready People, and our partnership with Retail Trust, has now come to an end (sad face). The last shops in Leeds and Rochdale are now closed, but our volunteers blazed a retail trail that communities will remember.

So how exactly do you shake up bargain hunting enough to make it stick in a customer’s mind? That was the challenge conquered by our Retail Ready volunteers.

A crafty takeaway

In 2012, the Retail Ready People of Brighton created Make Away. In this store, t-shirts, bags, aprons, tea towels and cards were screen-printed before your very eyes. The goodies were even sold in pizza boxes – the very definition of a guilt-free takeaway.

The shop was unique because it encouraged customers to print their own product, not to mention craft their own wares during in-store workshops. They used prints by local designers and sold artwork and jewellery made locally.

A community Christmas

Enfield volunteers chose to focus on keeping customers warm and ready for Christmas. They sold clothes, gifts and accessories made in Enfield, supporting local traders and designers.

The volunteers brought fresh energy to Enfield, which was affected by the 2011 summer riots. Cosy Cove is a great example of how young people can bring their communities together and tackle negative stereotypes through volunteering. Plus they kept everything cushy and comfy throughout the festive season. Let’s raise an Eggnog to them this year.

Colour me creative

The Rochdale team pulled off a highly interactive way to bring community spirit back to the town.  The shop sold posters, t-shirts and tote bags designed by local artists with a very successful ‘Made in Rochdale’ theme. Locals flocked to the store to co-design their very own Rochdale merchandise, actively supporting the talent flourishing on their doorstep.

Our volunteers offered workshops and tutorials on graffiti lettering, peg animals, t-shirt design and more to help every customer be as creative as possible.

Lounging around

Meanwhile in Leeds, the team went above and beyond the call for customer service.  Embracing chill-out vibes to the max, visitors could unwind in the shop’s social space.

The ‘in-shop living room’ came complete with comfy seating, games, books and live entertainment from some of Leeds’ best local talent. All over a strong cuppa, of course.

Inspired by what you see? Check out retail volunteer roles near you.

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vDani...

First posted on 19th August 2013
By vDanielle

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