InAndover’s Shared Shop is excited to open the doors to its new look shop this week. Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Phil North and local MP Kit Malthouse marked the occasion with an official visit today (4th March).
Five successful businesses have progressed from the shop’s original location and Andover BID is delighted to continue support for the trio collaborating in its new Chantry Centre Location, opposite Subway.
InAndover’s Shared Shop is an innovative and new concept to expand Andover’s retail offer by bringing fledgling or new, local and independent business into the Town Centre with a low cost retail opportunity, supported by Test Valley Borough Council. Each business brings an interesting and unique artisan or locally sourced offer for the people of Andover. It’s success is down to the careful selection of dedicated business owners whose ambition is to grow their business in a town centre location.
Wessex Spirits and Andover Tap found the experience working together in the original Shared Shop crystallized their relationship. This ignited their desire to bring an exciting new venue to life in Andover and fuelled a collaboration to grow their independent ventures together.
Kates Gin Palace brings a contemporary and elegant twist to the 17th Century Lamb Inn and boasts a stylish bar and exclusive tasting rooms. A perfect contrast to the traditional and modern funky craft ales Tim offers in The Andover Tap bar. Both share a passion for creating a unique taste experience for their customers with hand-crafted and local artisan flavours.
Sweet Ideas is one of three successful businesses to move from the original Shared Shop to its new prominent Chantry Centre location. A funky take on a traditional sweet shop, Jo has now expanded her range of sweets and chocolates for you to enjoy. “I love how everybody who walks past stops and smiles as they look in. Our new look makes us feel like we are in a proper shop,” comments Jo. The array of chocolate sprays, sweet treats and party favours on offer means Jo can also create a perfect personal sweet gift or treat for parties or special occasions.
Indulge your senses further with an elegant and dreamy home fragrance from House of Elizabeth. The second successful Shared Shop business to progress to the new location, Liz offers a luxurious collection of hand-crafted soy candles, room sprays, diffusers and wax melts. Combining fragrance with Art & everything she loves in between, you’ll always find a new and evolving range of products as the seasons, and occasions change throughout the year. “We are very excited to be taking the next step in our business & the positive feedback from customers has been amazing”, says Liz.
CJM Eyewear’s colour and styling service for your spectacles make them unique. The third successful business to join the sensual Shared Shop trio, Carol’s desire is for her customers to ooze confidence and style wearing their glasses. She likens it to choosing the perfect piece of jewellery to compliment your outfit or selecting a tantalizing tie for your suit, bringing sparkle to necessity and delight in your choice. Excited by the growing Shared Shop opportunity, she comments: “Everybody loves the new look, the support from the BID has been fantastic, and the extra space has enabled me to expand my range of frames and accessories.”
Rebecca Speculo, contracted by BID to ensure the concept is effectively delivered, adds, “I am impressed by the way the owners have developed their businesses over the past year, and this next step with the BID’s support is vital; to their continued success.”
The broader vision driving the InAndover’s Shared Shops concept is to facilitate the grassroots evolution of Andover’s High Street and add to the vitality of the town. BID Manager Steve Godwin says, “This has been an exciting journey, made more difficult because of COVID, but is an asset to the town and a first for any BID in the country. Thanks to our close working and strong relations with Test Valley Borough Council, owners of The Chantry Centre, we have developed our model, ensuring that we bring additionality to the town centre whilst supporting existing and established local businesses.
“We encourage new and local entrepreneurs who want to drive footfall to Andover Town Centre. Liz, Carol and Jo are successfully moving into the second stage of their business development and have demonstrated commitment, professionalism and strong business acumen. Through a programme of business mentoring and marketing support, BID is looking forward to continued working with them in their extended 5-day a week opening model.”
In addition to the shared shop businesses initially, it has also successfully supported nine guest sellers with an in-store retail opportunity. Andover BID plans to grow the Shared Shop concept and offer more opportunities for local independents in the future. You can find out more by following them online and visiting the Shared Shop in its new location, just over from Subway between 9:30am – 5pm Tuesday to Saturday.