Online marketplace expands support for new UK independent retailers

Aspiring UK retailers have the chance to set up shop for the first time this year, thanks to a unique programme and new contest from global wholesale marketplace Faire which has helped 500 independent retailers open stores across the country since 2022.

Faire, which connects hundreds of thousands of independent retailers with 100,000 independent brands across the world, plans to expand its pioneering Open with Faire programme in the UK over the next 12 months. 

More than a third of Britons (38%) told Faire earlier this year that they dream of running their own shop, but a lack of financial support and a fear of failure were the biggest barriers to making that dream a reality. In response, Faire is launching its first UK contest to help two aspiring retailers open their dream store. 

The winners will be awarded £5,000 to spend towards inventory on Faire, to stock their stores ahead of opening day. After completing an application, a shortlist of five retailers will be selected by judges: 

  • Rebecca Morter, founder & CEO of Lone Design Club
  • Andrew Goodacre, CEO of British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA)
  • Wilfred Emmanuel Jones MBE
  • Charlotte Broadbent, Faire’s Country Lead for the UK

Andrew Goodacre, CEO of BIRA, said: “Retailing is a dynamic industry but incredibly challenging, especially for new starters. It is therefore fantastic to see Faire launch this competition.

“Retailing on high streets needs new ideas, new ways of working if it is to continue to be relevant to shoppers. I say well done to Faire and I am delighted to be a judge and part of such a positive initiative.”

Designed to bolster the growth of the independent retail community and make opening a retail business easier than ever before, Open With Faire offers new shop owners up to £20,000 in credit to stock their shelves ahead of opening day, with no added interest or fees and net 60 day payment terms. 

With limited funding options available to small business owners, generating enough capital to cover all opening costs can be challenging. This programme helps ensure shop owners can open with the merchandise they need to attract customers from day one. Globally, Faire has provided $100 million in inventory credit across the US and Europe since 2021 through Open with Faire. 

Ami Vora, Chief Product Officer at Faire, said: “We are all about levelling the playing field for customers and making opening a retail business as seamless as possible.

“Open with Faire is an extension of our core business model and by providing access to the inventory our customers need to get started, we’re not just offering financial support, we’re investing in the dreams and ambitions of future business owners.” 

One UK retailer benefiting from Open with Faire is founder of The Black Farmer brand Wilfred Emmanuel Jones MBE. Wilfred utilised £15,000 through the Open with Faire programme to launch and stock his first physical shop in Brixton last year.

Wilfred Emmanuel Jones MBE said: “Anyone who has tried to launch a small business knows how hard it is to access finance. Unless you have the luxury of self-funding, which most people don’t, it’s incredibly difficult to get traditional lenders behind you.

“Open with Faire played a huge role in the launch of my first store – it alleviated so many of the financial pressures and risks. Since opening, the response from consumers has been incredible – so much so, we’re opening a second store later this year in White City.”

Aspiring retailers can learn more about Open with Faire here and apply to the contest here.

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