I am often asked the same questions regarding the shop so I have decided to write this post to answer some of the queries potential traders have.
Our shop is the product of years of dreaming, followed by years of hard work to make it happen – nothing worth having happens overnight. We have faced many hurdles along the way and we face new challenges and learn new lessons every day. Our primary goal is, and always has been, to make the shop work well for everyone involved and to create a unique shopping experience for Chorlton town centre.
The way we run the shop is not the ‘normal’ way a gallery or gift shop works. We charge a monthly space rental fee of £50 (or £90 for a vintage clothes rail) and we take 12% commission on all items sold. At the end of each month all traders receive an email with their monthly sales inventory and their takings are paid into their bank accounts within 7 days. The space rental fees which traders pay ensures that the rent and business rates for the shop are covered and the commission pays our bank fees, shop supplies and wages.
Most other shops work in a different way – no rental fee is charged, but a 50% commission fee is taken. Although not having a monthly fee may seem less of a ‘gamble’, it actually means that less money goes back to the traders compared to our system. For example, with our shop if a trader pays £50 rental and then makes £500 in sales, they will (including commission) pay £110 to us. Compare this with the £250 they would have to pay to a regular shop and its clear to see which system works better for the traders. Even if they were only to make £200 in sales, they would still only be paying £74 in total to us, rather than £100 if it was a flat 50% commission. The other common option for artists and traders is to pay £30 or £40 (or more) for a market stall pitch for one day where you are at the mercy of the skies. You are also more likely to be alongside, or close by other traders selling similar products to your own – with our shop we ensure that we have no 2 traders selling the same type of work.
The CAMhub provides a fantastic opportunity for artists and craftspeople to have their work for sale in a prime town centre location 6 days a week, as well as the added bonus of us advertising their products across social media. Our shop gives traders a constant high street presence, helping them to build up their brand and customer base – we already have some wonderful loyal repeat customers, some who tell us they visit Chorlton specifically to come to our shop which always makes us rather happy to hear. It is a genuine joy to go to work every day.
Right now we are really excited to be approaching our one year milestone on November 1st and we are truly looking forward to reflecting on the last 12 months and analysing how the shop has worked as a whole. At no point will we ever rest on our laurels and consider the job done – we are constantly tweaking things to ensure that the shop works long term and that our traders are making a decent profit each month. We value each and every person who has supported and understood our vision for the shop, and who has helped us to make it work this far. We are more committed than ever to improve on it each and every day.
If you are interested in becoming a trader in the CAMhub, or if you’d like more information, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.