Independent traders join forces to open permanent store in Sovereign Centre
- Credit: Archant
A group of independent shops have joined forces to create a permanent base in Weston town centre.
The Weston Collective opened a store in the Sovereign Shopping Centre on July 10.
The group of 15 Weston-based independent shops held several successful pop-up markets last year at the shopping centre and have decided to take things to the next level and open a permanent shop full of independent retailers.
Founding member Jane Main said: “We are overjoyed to be opening our first permanent home here in the Sovereign Centre. My passion has been to support local independent businesses by giving them the opportunity to showcase their unique styles.
“We have businesses ranging from clothing to hand-made glass objects, bath products to chocolate and ceramic to plants, there really is something for everyone.
“So far it has been incredible, we’ve had lots of positive feedback with people loving the shop local initiative and saying this is just what Weston needs.
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“It has taken a lot of guts to open a store during lockdown as we are the ones bucking the trend. We received our community interest statement one day after we went into lockdown so a March opening went out of the window.
“I mobilised the business through Facebook and managed to be quite active and got sales coming through.”
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The Weston Collective has taken a six-month licence out in the former Optika unit, with the hope it will be extended if successful.
Jon Walton, Sovereign Centre general manager, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming the Weston Collective back to the Sovereign Centre into a permanent space in our mall.
“We love the vibrant atmosphere they bring and the new shop will definitely encourage more visitors to the centre.”
Jane added: “Weston is on the cusp of something exciting when it comes to independent businesses, it is a hugely positive addition to the town centre.
“With staycations becoming a big thing going forward, it is now very important that everybody is supportive of local, independent businesses.
“There is an air of excitement about what the future holds and we are delighted to be here.”