Robin’s Nest celebrates first anniversary in Fareham

AN EMPORIUM featuring crafts, antiques, and vintage items is celebrating its first year in West Street.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:44 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 3:42 pm

Robin’s Nest opened in the former Zodiaq 99p Store in West Street, Fareham, on February 2, 2019.

This Sunday will see the business celebrate with live music throughout the day and staff will hand over £50 vouchers for two lucky customers to spend on traders.

Customers have to comment on the business’s Facebook page saying who they would take shopping in the store and what they would like to buy in order to stand a chance to be picked at random for the prizes.

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Nathan Alexander, the owner of Robin's Nest Emporium in West Street, Fareham. Picture: Sarah Standing (050219-8490)

Nathan Alexander, a former antiques dealer who set up a Southampton branch in 2017, said he planned to ‘set up hundreds of emporiums.’

He said: ‘The plan is to have them every where.

‘In Fareham, we have been full since a month after opening and have a big waiting list.

‘We always have traders coming and going - some are just doing it for a hobby, others do it for a few months while they are out there house.’

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A new Robin’s Nest Emporium in a grade II-listed former NatWest bank in 129 High Street, Southampton, is planned to open next month.

In the Fareham branch, a total of 115 traders operate out of the emporium, selling more than 4,000 items a week, according to the 40-year-old.

He added: ‘People don’t want the same old thing - they are looking for something unique.

‘We have someone selling pews made from old doors, we have someone making bespoke garden stakes, someone else selling vintage clothes.’

Believing he has hit on a ‘recession proof’ business model, the businessman said he is giving traders an opportunity to have a shop without dealing with ‘crippling’ business rates.

He said: ‘The High Street is dying off, and what’s destroying a lot of businesses are the business rates. Businesses are paying tens of thousands of pounds in rates for next to nothing.

‘We are giving people the opportunity to have a shop without business rates or being tied into a contract with a landlord.

‘We face the same rates, but all the traders share the burden.’

Traders can rent floor space as small as 6ft by 6ft, paying 10 per cent commission.

Robin’s Nest is open Monday to Saturday 10am until 5.30pm, and Sunday 11am until 5pm.