Over the past few years, independent shops were considered to be in decline across the country. At the same time a collective of local independent start-up businesses came together to open a brand-new shop in Park Mall, Ashford.
Made in Ashford was born in October 2015 and with it, a platform was created for innovative businesses to test their high-quality offer on the high street.
The shop is run by Ashford Borough Council, who also created the brand and the signage. Made In Ashford is a key element of the council’s belief that independent shops should be the spine of the reinvigorated Park Mall and create a unique selling point for Ashford town centre.
Today, it continues to play a successful role in the regeneration of Ashford’s Park Mall Shopping and takes on new and exciting creative talent from the local area.
Ashford Town’s latest shopper statistics has demonstrated the lowest vacancy rate across the past few years and an increasing footfall of 7% year on year with 46.7% of shops now thriving independent retailers.
A recent Ipsos Mori survey confirmed that Ashford, currently ranked as the best business location in Kent, is now outperforming everywhere else in the UK in terms of retail footfall, with visitors to the town up 1.6% year-on-year.
Showcasing unique businesses in a friendly, quirky environment, Made In Ashford offers its businesses flexible tenancies, ideal for this early stage in their life-cycle.
Interest in joining the collective has been constant and the venture is stronger than ever. The community of independent designer-makers continues to welcome in new faces as others move on to new projects.
For further information visit Park Mall’s website.