EOI’s now open for “The Essence”

The Merimbula Chamber of Commerce made a presentation to a group of interested vendors about their plans to open a new collective style store called “the essence“. The presentation was held in the former Millers outlet in Market Street where they hope to develop the concept store.

President of the Chamber Nigel Ayling announced the essence will showcase the products, designs & services of local businesses & creative individuals, to help cultivate an exciting marketplace and community in the Merimbula CBD.

He said “We envisage our collective inventory will focus on one of a kind goods from independent craftspeople, creatives & service providers offering a mix of new and repurposed products, along with local & regional handmade goods.”

“By providing this initiative, we hope to support start up businesses,
who may otherwise not have the opportunity to share their works in a permanent retail setting. ” Vendors would also have access to the Business Incubator Program, which would include

  • Training on a range of topics such as marketing, finance and business
  • Regular workshops and toolbox meetings
  • Access to further support and grants
  • Assistance in building your brand online

On offer to vendors where a maximum of 15 (3x3m) spaces, on a 2 year contract with fixed weekly rent. Vendors would be required to manage their own stock and displays and contribute 8 hours per fortnight to assist in the store.

In return the Chamber will provide a fully managed store, in a prime location, with good foot traffic, the ability for vendors to sell online via the chambers website, as well as promotion and advertising of the venue.

Expressions of Interest are now open with applications being assessed and vendors contacted about their products.

Version 2 Update

After gathering feedback from vendors about our first proposal, we have come up with Version 2. This includes

  • Reduced term from 2 years to 1
  • Alternate location with lower rent
  • Reduced management costs
  • Increase commitment of hours required by vendors

At this stage we are able to provide the following options

  • The old Elders office with part time manager approx $150 per week
    (We only need 8 vendors for this)

Obviously the option of having a part time manager increases the commitment of vendors from contributing around 4 hours per week (for a full time managed store) to around 6-8 hours per week (for a part time managed store). These hours may vary depending on opening hours and seasonal trade, however vendors would be required to be available for a roster and to provide the primary staffing for the store.

Given the reduced cost and commitment from 2 years to 1 year, we are now hopeful that potential vendors will be more comfortable to get involved.

We currently have 5 vendors confirmed as wanting to be part of it, and 6 still interested but unconfirmed. We need to get 16 in total to make it work in either of the large shops, or 8 in a smaller shop.

Given that we are now in to October we want to get this happening as soon as possible to give us time to get ready before the busy holiday periods

Anyone interested should submit an EOI by no later than Friday 16 October and include their preference for the shop location and management arrangements.

Interested vendors can find out more here.