Traders’ concerns over ‘pop-up’ shops

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ANXIOUS traders have hit out at pop-up shops that profit from Christmas shoppers before moving on at the end of the festive season.

Every year sees temporary shops take over empty units in town centres across Scotland - selling cut-price cards and presents to bargain-hunting shoppers.

Kirkintilloch, with its increasing number of empty units in Townhead and Cowgate, presents many opportunities for the pop-up stores - with landlords keen to rent out premises for even short periods of time.

But shopkeepers who trade in the town all year round say that they lose business to the cheaper competition.

One town centre shop owner said: “It just doesn’t seem fair. We are here all year struggling to make money in the current economic climate, providing a service for the community and paying out business rates and taxes.

“Then these people turn up for a few weeks and are able to offer ridiculous prices, because they don’t have anything like our overheads.”

Robert Wilson, president of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The chamber has been against these shops that are ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ for some time.

“We would urge people to support the shops who serve the community year in year out.”