Pop-up shops and markets could boost Aberdeen’s smaller retailers

Weekly markets are just one of the ideas put forward by Independent Aberdeen.
Weekly markets are just one of the ideas put forward by Independent Aberdeen.

Pop-up shops and weekly markets are just some of the ideas put forward as part of a new project to help independent retailers in the city.

Independent Aberdeen is under way in the city and will be spearheaded by Aberdeen Inspired’s city centre manager Geoff Cooper.

He was appointed to the role in July after working for 25 years in the food industry.

Mr Cooper said the scheme is all about making Aberdeen a better place for independent retailers.

This will involve making it easier for them to open and make them more accessible.

Mr Cooper added: “We have a lot of independent retailers but we have to look after them and we have to make sure that they can sort of thrive and survive in Aberdeen.

“We’re looking at where we might do that in Aberdeen, will we set up a specific geographical area or we may be looking at a facility where there can be pop-up shops, weekly markets and that sort of thing.

“If you look at the success of Thistle Street market, they’ve been really phenomenal.”

Mr Cooper added that Aberdeen Inspired has recently carried out some research in the city centre which found 44% of businesses are classed as independent.

That means they’re part of a chain of five or fewer stores.

Mr Cooper said he was “quite surprised” at how large the number is.

City council finance convener Willie Young has supported the scheme, saying it would help local retail in the long term.

He said: “There have been some pop-up shops in other cities like Edinburgh that have worked really well.

“There have even been some pop-up restaurants and they’ve all been successful.

“I think it’s absolutely right for Aberdeen. What we’ve seen from the Aberdeen Winter Festival is that these things will support retail in the area not just in the short term but long term as well.”