Transport for London (TfL) is giving small businesses the opportunity to trade at transport hubs across the capital through a new partnership with online street trading platform StreetDots.
The project enables customers to buy street food and coffee and will later offer them the opportunity to purchase gifts, flowers, and grab-and-go fresh produce from mobile retailers. Pitches or ‘dots’ are open at several locations, including Hammersmith. The stalls at the dots take many forms from simple tables, to customised vans, trucks, carts and bikes.
The partnership aims to liberate traders from the hassle involved in finding a pitch, while introducing customers to new brands. Traders use a smartphone app to choose a ‘dot’ for a few hours at a time. For example, a coffee truck might book a morning slot outside of a Tube station during peak commuting hours. In turn, customers passing the same ‘dot’ regularly get the chance to discover new businesses and products each day.
Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said: “More than 90 per cent of our tenants are small or independent businesses. Working with StreetDots, we will be giving more people the opportunity to try out their new business ideas in a simple and cost-effective way at locations across London. It is another great example of how we are supporting small businesses alongside generating vital revenue to reinvest in the transport network.”
Atholl Milton, StreetDots co-founder, said: “Since we opened our first dot in 2014, the StreetDots network has helped over 300 street food traders tour their trucks, vans and stalls around London, collecting new customers in each new area they visit.
“The partnership with TfL means we can give these mobile businesses an even wider choice of locations, while introducing the millions of commuters that pass through TfL stations every day to new brands selling original products – something new at every journey.”