07/11/2014 - 16:21

Perth Upmarket pops up at new Subi event

07/11/2014 - 16:21
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A Perth market operator has embraced Perth’s enthusiasm for ‘pop-up’ vendors by convincing the City of Subiaco to allow temporary shopfronts at a new event next month.

GROWTH MARKET: Justine Barsley says the competitive nature of Perth Upmarket for retailers reinforces its exclusivity. Photo: Attila Csaszar

A Perth market operator has embraced Perth’s enthusiasm for ‘pop-up’ vendors by convincing the City of Subiaco to allow temporary shopfronts at a new event next month.

The 16 Days of Subi will be held this year in place of the popular Subi Street Festival, after a planning shortfall forced the City of Subiaco place manager Matthew Gould to cancel the event.

Perth Upmarket founder Justine Barsley has secured a short-term lease to hold a pop-up shop at the event, building on the existing market and storefront business.

Perth Upmarket attracts between 10,000 and 12,000 customers to each of its four-times yearly events at University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall, and features products from local clothing, gift and home ware designers, as well as food vendors.

Ms Barsley told Business News the markets had become a competitive asset for vendors, with some stallholders on waiting lists for the next event.

Ms Barsley, who won a Business News 40under40 award in 2012 for her innovative Perth Upmarket business, said she didn’t want the markets to grow too much more in size for fear of diluting the quality of the stalls.

Vendors need to reapply for each event, and specify new offerings to assist with their application, although Ms Barsley said there were about a dozen who ‘upmarket exclusives’ that had a guaranteed spot and other privileges.

 

“I like to have 20 per cent new retailers to make sure it’s fresh … it’s quite competitive and I want to keep it that way,” she said.

About a year ago, Ms Barsley took the next step for Perth Upmarket by leasing a space of the same name within the Angove Street Collective.

She said the collective space was an ideal alternative for small businesses not wanting to lease a stand-alone storefront, allowing them to remain home businesses with few overheads.

The staff is employed by the collective and Ms Barlsey outsources all other needs to contractors.

“I like to look at non-traditional ways of doing things, and seeing if there is a smarter way of doing something,” she said.

This cost-effective push is evident in the other business Ms Barsley runs.

Growth Quarters was started in 2011 as a way of helping creative small businesses effectively manage costs, social media and marketing, and she now has more than 800 businesses on her books.

“The main challenge that small businesses face is time management, and how to be the jack of all trades,” Ms Barsley said.

“So it’s about getting them to work out where they should spend their money and outsource certain parts to help them to develop and grow their business.”

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