A retail and events business which provides short term space to retailers has been backed by Merseyside Special Investment Fund (MSIF).
Revolver Retail Limited has opened its Rex Store in the former George Henry Lee building under Rapid Hardware. The idea was developed following the popularity of pop up stores where retailers rent a space for a short period of time.
This avoids having to take on expensive long-term leases and offers the chance to promote their products and test the market before making a more permanent commitment.
Tenants currently based in the Rex store include stockists in fashion, jewellery, art, greetings cards, home-wares and gifts. Revolver also offers exhibition and events space and can secure grants to help provide training to staff.
The business was set up in 2013 by managing director Matt Bell and he was later joined by business development director Gary Carney in 2014.
MSIF has provided an £18k loan through the Start Up Loans Programme which will be used to create additional floor space, set up an office and develop the website so that it can be used for online sales.
Director Gary Carney said: "There is a lot of talent locally particularly in the creative industries however it can be difficult for these businesses to showcase their products to the public because it is expensive and risky to take on a shop."
"Rex offers the chance for retailers to sell their products in Liverpool city centre which attracts around 60 million visitors per year."
"In addition, we are helping landlords with vacant space to fill their properties and offering shoppers a different retail experience where they can buy unique products."
Mr Bell added: "Consumers want something different and there is a demand for more variety and products that are unusual. People do want to visit the high street but there needs to be more available than the usual high street brands."
"We have offices in Liverpool and London working in partnership the Business Improvement District on their pop up and vacant unit strategies. We are also working on other ideas including pop up events which we believe will help attract visitors to the city and provide further growth opportunities to local retailers."
"MSIF have been a fantastic support. As a start-up business ourselves we have found it difficult to raise finance through traditional sources. They were quick and easy to deal with and are very supportive of our concept."
MSIF investment manager Lisa Ashby-Dowling said: "Matt and Gary are very passionate about what they do and both have strong track records in the retail industry. The pop up concept has proven popular with retailers and consumers alike in other parts of the UK and I think it is a fantastic boost for local businesses that are looking for different opportunities to market their products. We are very pleased to be supporting Revolver and that there are excellent growth opportunities for the business."
The government-funded Start Up Loans Programme provides loans to assist with start-up costs as well as free mentoring support, and exclusive business offers from partners such as Regus, Paypal, eBay and Intuit.