MONCTON – Main Street in Moncton will see a fresh new facade come this year’s busy holiday shopping season, as pop-up shops will be popping into many empty store fronts.
A new initiative will see local artisans setting up their “pop-up” shops to sell their goods over a three month period. This is the latest in a series on initiatives aimed at revitalizing the downtown core.
Lysanne Lombard is one of the local artists taking part.
“It’s super thrilling,” she said, adding that there are not many places in Moncton for artists to show off and sell their pieces and goods.
“I’m super stoked to get it on the go, and hopefully we can keep it running after the initial timeline.”
The idea was the brainchild of Lisa Griffin and Matt Williston of L’Art ici SVP. They also plan to run events and curate the windows of other store fronts along Main Street throughout the holiday season.
Griffin told Global News the group also hopes to run an incubation program that would allow the artists to become business-owners long-term.
“We will have each of the entrepreneurs who’s in the space go through a program, so that their business becomes more sustainable at the end of the 12 weeks,” she said.
The initiative is offering the artists short-term leases at a reduced rate. Downtown Moncton Inc. is also financially supporting the project.
It will run from Nov. 1 to Feb. 1, but the hope is that some of the artists will be able to extend their leases.
Anne Poirier Basque, executive director of Downtown Moncton Inc., said they were happy to join the project and believe it’s a great idea for the downtown.
“When you’re walking downtown and you see ‘space for lease’ signs in the windows, it’s much more attractive…when you see artists selling their goods,” she said.
The initiative also has support from the city and CBRE Limited, a real estate brokerage firm that is working with the various landlords.
“Retail incubation is a different approach to both help keep small market downtowns busy, lively and active,” Adam Conter, senior sales associate for New Brunswick at CBRE, said. “But more importantly it’s a way of helping a retailer who’s got a great idea, but doesn’t have the upfront money to do it completely, to take a chance and get a start, with as limited a risk as possible.”
He said the plan is to take advantage of the biggest shopping time of the year, when people are often looking for unique items or local wares as gifts, and promote downtown as a destination.