From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boxpark Croydon

Boxpark is a food and retail park made out of refitted shipping containers in Britain.[1] It was founded by Roger Wade, who described it as the "world's first pop-up mall".[1] The first Boxpark was launched in Shoreditch in 2011, another was built in Croydon next to East Croydon station in 2016, and a third opened in Wembley in late 2018. Other Boxparks are also planned for other cities and countries. [2]


The first Boxpark opened in Shoreditch in 2011.

According to its founder Roger Wade, who started out with the street fashion shop and label Boxfresh,[3] the idea for a shopping centre made out of shipping containers has its origin in 1999, while he was attending German trade shows with Boxfresh. For each show, he would need to build a mini shop that would then be demolished, and he wondered if he could build a trade show stand in a container that could be reused. He said: "That was the beginning of my fascination, in 1999. Years later a friend was running retail developments, so some time in 2008-09 I wondered 'why not build a whole retail development out of containers?"[1]

The first Boxpark was built in 2011 and was described "the world's first pop up mall".[4] However, by then shipping containers had already been used as pop-up shops, office and retail spaces around the world, for example the portable Puma City shop in US cities,[5][6] and the Dordoy Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.[7] The company has plans to expand to other countries; however, a retail park also called Boxpark that opened in Dubai is not part of this company.[8]

Boxpark Shoreditch[edit]

A coffee shop in Boxpark Shoreditch

The first temporary shopping centre, backed by Charles Dunstone of Carphone Warehouse, was built at the Shoreditch end of Bethnal Green Road on part of the former Bishopsgate goods yard in Shoreditch.[9] Boxpark opened in December 2011,[10] initially made out of 60 recycled shipping containers over two floors, with 40 in the lower floor, 20 in the upper floor.[4][11] Originally intended to open for five years, the centre is still operating. Boxpark Shoreditch has 19 restaurants and bars and 27 shops.[1]

The Boxpark at Shoreditch was redeveloped in 2017, with the upper deck becoming the focus for street food at the venue.[2]

Boxpark Croydon[edit]

Interior view of Boxpark Croydon

On 20 March 2015, it was announced that a second Boxpark would be built in Croydon to coincide with the regeneration project Croydon Vision 2020.[12] The centre was built with a £3 million loan from the Croydon Council and intended to be a temporary structure that would last for five years, until homes and offices could be developed on the site.[13][14] The scheme was designed by BDP, and the two-storey structure is constructed out of 96 shipping containers.[15] It is in the form of a semi-enclosed market hall with units arranged around it, and provides 24,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, double that of Shoreditch.[12] The Boxpark in Croydon has a covered seating area, as it was found that trade dropped off during the winter months in Shoreditch when it was exposed to the elements.[14] Boxpark Croydon has 36 shop units and is focused on dining and drink outlets.[16] It opened in October 2016.[17] It also hosts events such as music performances, kickboxing and screenings of films and football matches.[18][19][20]

Boxpark Wembley[edit]

Boxpark Wembley

A third Boxpark opened near Wembley Stadium in December 2018.[21][22] Boxpark Wembley is the largest one yet, covering a floor area of 50,000 sq ft, with a 2,000-person capacity events space.[23] Boxpark Wembley has 30 units, and 24 food and drink retail outlets have opened at the venue. As with Boxpark Croydon, the open hall/events space may be used for events such as music performances and screenings.[24][25] It is regularly used as a fan zone for those attending football matches, concerts and other events held at Wembley.[26][27][28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Fry, Simon (26 January 2017). "Boxing clever: The firms based in shipping containers". BBC.
  2. ^ a b Cahill, Julia (7 March 2017). "BoxPark to open 20 pop-up food centres in UK and expand overseas". EG.
  3. ^ Hunter, Tom (23 October 2012). "Boxfresh to Boxpark: London Calling meets Pop-Up Entrepreneur Roger Wade". London Calling. Archived from the original on 2 April 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b Carey, Sean (3 December 2011). "The world's first pop-up shopping mall". The New Statesmen.
  5. ^ LOT-EK (2012). UPCYCLE. p. 20. ISBN 9781105967931.
  6. ^ Yuka Yoneda. "Puma City Shipping Container Store Comes to Boston's Fan Pier". Inhabitat.
  7. ^ Sershen, Daniel (4 January 2007). "'Made in China' moves into Russia's backyard". Christian Science Monitor.
  8. ^ Hendriksz, Vivian (19 February 2015). "Boxpark takes a stand against Dubai 'Copycat'". Fashion United.
  9. ^ "Dunstone backs mall built of ship containers". Financial Times. 30 November 2011.
  10. ^ "In Pictures: Pop-Up Shopping Mall Boxpark Opens In Shoreditch". Londonist. 2 December 2011.
  11. ^ Hobson, Rebecca (8 November 2011). ""Revolutionary" mall to open in Shoreditch". London Loves Business. Archived from the original on 16 June 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
  12. ^ a b Pettitt, Josh (20 March 2015). "Boxpark Croydon: Shoreditch centre's owner announces 'modern Covent Garden' pop-up". The Standard.
  13. ^ Sheppard-Jones, Liz (16 February 2017). "Interview with Roger Wade, founder and CEO of Boxpark". The Croydon Citizen. Archived from the original on 22 September 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  14. ^ a b aworden (27 October 2016). "Why Boxpark Croydon has a roof when Boxpark Shoreditch doesn't". Croydon Advertiser. Archived from the original on 31 October 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Boxpark Croydon / BDP". Arch Daily. 18 November 2016.
  16. ^ "Operator line-up for Boxpark Croydon revealed". The Caterer. 4 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Boxpark Croydon opens late October 2016". Croydon Business Improvement District.
  18. ^ TMackintosh (7 April 2017). "Boxpark to run a dozen 'large events' as founder says it needs to 'broaden its appeal'". Croydon Advertiser.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Check out what's happening in Croydon this summer as Boxpark reveal their long list of activities". Croydon Guardian. 15 June 2017.
  20. ^ Chaplain, Chloe (7 July 2018). "Jubilant football fans at Boxpark Croydon react to England goal against Sweden". Evening Standard.
  21. ^ Degun, Gurjit (22 September 2017). "Boxpark to open in Wembley". Campaign.
  22. ^ "Boxpark Opens In Wembley". Ham & High. 7 December 2018.
  23. ^ Miller, Frederica (21 May 2018). "Boxpark Wembley names some of the restaurants that will be in the new food mall". Get West London.
  24. ^ Galton, Bridget (7 December 2018). "Boxpark Opens In Wembley". Brent & Kilburn Times.
  25. ^ Stevens, Ben (17 January 2019). "Spotlight: Boxpark Wembley". Retail Gazette.
  26. ^ Sims, Alexandra (7 June 2019). "Learn all the moves to 'Wannabe' at a Spice Girls fan zone in Wembley". Time Out.
  27. ^ Peracha, Qasim (25 March 2019). "The 24 Boxpark Wembley restaurants, cafés and dessert parlours opened so far". My London.
  28. ^ Pole, Matt (6 April 2019). "Brighton fans hail Hughton and Bloom ahead of FA Cup semi-final". Brighton & Hove Independent.

External links[edit]