Start-ups empowering each other

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Start-ups in the region and world-over aren’t afraid to collaborate. In fact, they are keen on leveraging the power of collaboration to expand and innovate. While there are several successful start-up collaborations in the region, here’s a look at a global example – a partnership between Appear Here and Desmond & Dempsey.

“We work like Airbnb for retail,” began Ross Bailey, CEO of Appear Here – a UK-based online marketplace for short-term space and has worked with over 185,000 brands and offices in London, Paris and New York. “We help people find short-term retail spaces digitally, leveraging our strong collaboration with landlords ranging from Blackstone, Brookfield to Simon Property Group. On the other hand, we facilitate landlords to connect with brands ranging from Chanel, Apple, Spotify and Netflix to several unique, niche start-up brands.”

“At a time when there is a lot of talk about the death of high streets in the UK, we have launched more retail spaces. We are noticing more and more pure-play online and technology players taking offline spaces. They realise the benefits of a short-term physical space turning fixed into a variable cost, which becomes one of the most cost-effective marketing channels. One of the wonderful examples is,” he cited Desmond & Dempsey.

Taking over Molly Goddard, founder of Desmond & Dempsey, a UK-based high-end pyjama label elaborated the brand’s collaboration with Appear Here.

“We sell pyjamas; but what we connect with our customers on and with is the idea of a ‘Sunday morning’. Our consumers spend with us because we make that everyday moment extraordinary. Morocco inspired our spring/summer collection. We were charmed by the sense of calm amidst the chaotic souks of Morocco. We were keen to showcase this juxtaposition in London. In the middle of Covent Garden, one of the busiest footfall areas in London, we created a pop-up in collaboration with Appear Here and invited our customers for a Sunday morning breakfast. E-commerce accounts for 80% of our business, but we wanted to connect with our consumers through different senses of sight, sound and Sunday. We also took this opportunity to collaborate with local partners to decorate the pop-up space with their wares, leveraging the space beautifully.”

“Our goal is to act as a bridge between offline and online retail spaces,” stated Bailey. Alongside finding the right space, Appear Here enables brands to book design, staff and payment solutions through its software.

Testifying for Appear Here, Goddard said, “We were a young pyjama brand in London and had no connection with landlords. With Appear Here’s support, we could build credibility and prove to the landlords that we can handle a physical space. What’s more, within ten days of the pop-up, our entire collection displayed sold out.”

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