Leeds halls of residence, Oxley Residence – managed by Allied Student Accommodation – becomes home to the UK’s first Rapid Store, a pop-up shop providing everyday shopping essentials. The pop-up shop that has been installed near the main building at the halls of residence – and saves students a four-mile round trip to the nearest shop.
The lack of shops nearby has been highlighted by residents as a key drawback, with the nearest stores being around two miles away. However, the cost of making alterations to the site’s buildings, combined with footfall numbers being limited to the student population, meant installing a bricks and mortar shop was not feasible.
The new Rapid Store aims to provide a lifeline for the 400+ students living at the scheme. It is open seven days a week and stocks fresh, frozen and dry goods, including personal care items, confectionery and alcohol. The shop’s opening has also created jobs for up to four students, who are working alongside the shop’s permanent manager.
“Oxley Residence is a beautiful site with some amazing features and facilities, but the lack of a shop was something we were acutely aware of.
“What has been fantastic about this project is being able to make use of the external space we had available, to get a professional, fully managed shop in position in record time. It’s taken all the stress and hassle out of the process, with an added bonus being that it has created jobs for the student population too. The feedback we are receiving from students is just fantastic and we would recommend any PBSA that hasn’t got a convenience store locally to look at this option.”Julian Sparrow, Regional Manager, Allied Student Accommodation
The Rapid Store has been designed and installed by Worcestershire pop up specialist Rapid Retail and is managed in partnership with Rapid Stores. The shop has come at no cost to Allied Student Accommodation, who provided a suitable location for its installation and a power supply for the unit.
Rapid Stores now plans to roll out the model to other sites across the UK where access to shops is limited.
“We’re excited to now be live with our first Rapid Store. For universities and landlords of student accommodation, it’s a really simple model. Everything is included, all we need to get up and running is a suitable space and power. We’re delighted to say we already have interest from a number of other universities who have heard about this project.”Paul Chamberlain, Co-Founder, Rapid Stores