Chairperson of Shell UK Limited, Royal Dutch Shell
Bailey, head of the pop-up-store platform Appear Here, has revolutionized real estate for companies and has said that “shopping will never go back to what it was.”
When high-streets were forced to close down during the pandemic, his business model became practically illegal to operate. “We were launching tons of stores in Jan and Feb — two record months — and in March everything went to a standstill,” he tells Business Insider.
But the COVID-19 outbreak only accelerated trends that were already underway, he says. He thinks the decline of malls and traditional retailers was a long time coming, and has been further prompted by the rise of independent stores.
People have begun to care more about whom and where they buy from, and for that reason offline retail has become an integral part of communities, Bailey says.
He feels one of the greatest lessons to have emerged from the pandemic is the importance of human connection. Individuals have realized a “real appreciation of the entrepreneur” and the pandemic has shown how streets, cafés, and restaurants “really make your community because let’s be honest when they were shut, it was pretty miserable,” he says.
His startup has already expanded internationally and helped launch more than 8,000 shops in cities including London, Paris, New York, and Los Angeles.
The London-based entrepreneur next plans to expand his distribution network and put his brand on the world map. He wishes to see more people in his community take their ideas to new places.