Appear Here, a marketplace for short-term retail space, is adding a new component to its Space for Ideas competition, which awards free flagship space to entrepreneurs and brands. In addition to the call for innovative retail concepts, Appear Here is launching a new prize category, Space for Change, to empower social change and ideas whose goal is to impact more than just the bottom line.
Space for Change is a reflection of consumers’ interest in social causes, such as sustainability and the growth of the environmental movement. Finn Harries, an activist and environmental campaigner, joined the judging panel to lend his social impact experience to the new prize category. Harries has a significant social media following through his YouTube channel, JacksGap.
The Space for Change storefront may or may not offer products for sale. It could have an educational slant such as Patagonia‘s Broadway Market café in Hackney, London, which bowed at the same time as the Global Climate Strike, when the retailer closed all its other stores for the day. The café introduced Patagonia’s climate crisis initiative and online campaign.
The first Space for Ideas contest was held in 2015. Last year, Appear Here received about 3,000 entries. The four top ideas will get a store space for two weeks in one of four cities: London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.
Support and mentorship from industry leaders will be available to the winners as they bring their ideas to the high street. Besides Harries, Space for Ideas judges include Diane von Furstenberg, Warby Parker and Harrys cofounders Neil Blumenthal and Jeff Raider, AKQA founder Ajaz Ahmed and British GQ editor Dylan Jones.
For the first time, those on the Space for Ideas shortlist will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of jury members in London, Paris and New York. Each final winner will receive the resources necessary for turning their idea into a functioning store, including a full store fit-out from a leading design agency.
“Retail isn’t dying, it’s changing,” said Appear Here founder Ross Bailey. “The 200,000 brands on our platform are looking for space to make their ideas happen, and the next decade will be transformative for retail. We understand that the idea of ‘doing business’ and ‘doing good’ aren’t mutually exclusive. As more and more people start to think this way, businesses across the world will have to reflect that thinking, or risk being left behind.”