Boxpark is a food and retail park made out of refitted shipping containers in Britain. It was founded by Roger Wade, who described it as the “world’s first pop-up mall”.
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.
According to its founder Roger Wade, who started out with the street fashion shop and label Boxfresh, 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?”
The first Boxpark was built in 2011 and was described “the world’s first pop up mall”. 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, and the Dordoy Bazaar in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. 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.