UNDERNEATH Old Street roundabout, above, does not seem the most enticing retail location. Transport for London (TfL) and offshoot London Underground (LU) disagree: they have a vision to make the Tube station’s covered surrounds a “retail destination”.
Already, boasts TfL, seven pop-up shops have opened. They are:
* Driftrock, which helps small to medium-size businesses with digital marketing;
* Bailey Nelson, a Sydney-originated firm making eyewear for hipsters;
* Fully Charged, an electric bike company;
* Mallow and Marsh, handmakes marshmallow;
* Spoon Cereals, breakfast cereals;
* Makers Academy, lessons in programming computers;
* Press London, sells pressed juices.
TfL says Old Street Tube is used by 22 million people a year (could there be some double – or treble – counting there?) and that it chose the station as TfL’s first pop-up shop location because it is in Tech City.
The retailers lined up to say how excited they were to be in what commuters might have considered an unavoidable and dull space.
All very predictable, although one quote was more amusing than most. Jordan Poulton, of Makers Academy, said: “When we were offered the chance to run a popup shop… under the Silicon Roundabout itself, the offer was simply too good to refuse.”
Let us hope he’s not expecting fast broadband. As Loving Dalston has shown, speeds in the heart of Tech City are some of the lowest in England.
Best use Old Street for shopping. You might even get some money back: TfL promises that “all revenue” will be invested in its public transport network.
Hamish Scott 220414
* To book a popup press this link. The computer graphic above has been supplied via TfL/Marc Sethi.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.