Brand New Boutiques Boost Business at The Trading Post

Port Solent is known as one of the best marinas along the south coast of the UK with upscale retail and leisure facilities including a multiplex cinema. The development has a reputation for being a great place to spend time with family and friends, whether they are sailors or just like spending time relaxing at the waters edge. Port Solent’s official website states:

This successful marina site already enjoys a very healthy footfall, attracting in the region of 3 million customers a year. The 15 bars and restaurants enjoy year round buoyant trading and have a customer base with a higher than average spend per head. (1)

The Trading Post at Port Solent is Hampshire’s new retail arcade with a creative twist featuring several unusual gift and home shops.

Bespoke Art at One 2 Remember

Bespoke Art at One 2 Remember

Each with their special niche, these start-up entrepreneurs have stocked the shelves full of fresh ideas for fashionable men, women, children and pets. More than a dozen small retail premises are under one roof and offer many different items from furnishings to website design. There is an atmosphere of positive anticipation as the Trading Post is open to the public for its first Spring season.

Further along the marina’s Broadwalk is situated the now bi-monthly Port Solent market. At these charming weekend events, sellers bring a variety of locally baked treats, handmade crafts and cruise-wear fashion. Set against the harbours scenic nautical backdrop, high quality pieces can be found at stands such as ‘All Things Glass’ which showcases fused, stained and engraved treasures made in Dorothy Borlands studio a few miles north in Horndean.


View from Gracie Anne's cafe

View from Gracie Anne’s cafe

The Trading Post concept was born after market stall holders requested an alternative place to sell their wares on The Broadwalk. This was during inclement weather in the autumn that turned out to be the wettest winter on record.

Lorraine Newman is an artist and owner of the colourful range of original paintings and interior accessories at One To Remember located upstairs at the Trading Post. Lorraine explains

“Ms S Golden is the Unilever Marketing Manager and it was her good idea to open the Trading Post to provide cover for traders during the winter months and on wet days” (2)

After a full refurbishment of a large empty premises and a lot of hard work the website announced that

The Trading Post is a collection of 14 stunning shops and a traditional tea room overlooking the water at this prestigious marina destination. The Trading Post is a large 6,000 sq ft building located in the heart of the scheme with some of the best views over the marina. Downstairs the unit has been split in to 8 units, two of which overlook the marina.” (3)

The Trading Post Exterior

The Trading Post Exterior

Lorraine knows the building well as she used to display her colourful paintings in the windows when it used to be a cocktail bar called Manhattan in 2005. These bright canvases can be designed to fit with any scheme and Lorraine has sold One 2 Remember artwork all over the world.

This total transformation has lead to a shopping walk offering a completely different kind of attraction. Friendly local merchants promote their products and services on two floors within the white painted, modern boat yard style mall.

The social hub of the Trading Post is ‘Gracie Ann’s cafe’ which complete with pretty painted furniture makes a great afternoon tea to go with the delightful view. Diana is a helpful lady with a welcoming smile who is a waitress at the cafe and describes how

the name originates from the names of the cafe owner’s Mum and Mother-in-Law combined together.” (4)

Sweetie Kingdom caters for children and those who still have some room left after their tea and like traditional treats. So variety could be the theme of this project as Bow Wows keeps four legged friends happy and sells handmade collars for pets. The Glass Room barber shop makes sure men of all ages are well groomed between their cruises around the Solent. New Media UK is a one stop shop for smart web design and business presentation online. Art session workshops and children’s activities are also offered at The Trading Post so there is plenty to keep those who do like to be beside the water busy.

French furniture at the Trading Post

French furniture at the Trading Post

A community feel has been generated by the variety of small businesses that have set up shop under the same roof. These include Precious, a handmade jewellery shop where you can watch multi-coloured original glass jewellery being made by Karen Taylor as as you select your presents. It is also possible to ask Karen to assist you design your own custom made accessory.

The Stash is run by crafting expert Suzanne Tagg and provides a haven for those who love scrap-booking materials and enjoy making projects with decorative paper and fabric. Indigo Rose is full of re-styled Vintage furniture and accessories for the home that are individually selected in France and often hand painted in a pretty vintage style by the boutique’s owner Carla Street.

When asked how the retail stores are performing since the recent launch Lorraine says

so far this year the weekends have been busy and week days are quieter.” (5)

Support the Trading Post’s Future

If residents and people who live in the Portsmouth area choose to shop locally at the Trading Post and at Port Solent they will benefit from a diverse and unique shopping walk of small businesses on their doorstep. These innovative company directors and sole traders will all in turn contribute to the greater economy.

The larger ground floor units at the Trading Post are still available. The relatively high rents and stiff rates required for occupying the new retail development may be deterring smaller companies from leasing them and finally filling all the units at the Trading Post. If necessary another option could be to subdivide these prime shop floors into a few more units which will make these waterside stores more affordable.

Currently inside these empty retail spaces there are window displays and room sets of interesting products to be discovered further within the building. The clever merchants have clubbed together to promote their own ranges within these expensive shops on the ground floor that are perfect for enticing passing trade inside. The final pieces of the jigsaw are yet to be added.

It may be key to success that these local traders keep attracting the public back through their doors with tempting classes during the week, artistic events and merchandise that cannot be found in the high street. With the wind in the right direction, the Trading Post team deserve to win first place, in the race for coastal customers.


1. & 3. Port Solent – Official website 22/04/2014 The Port Solent website gives full details of new shops and events coming up at the marina.

2. & 5. Lorraine Newman, Owner and Artist at One 2 Remember 22/04/2014

4. Diane at Gracie Anne’s Tea Room 22/04/2014

5. All Things Glass 22/04/2014

6. Precious Jewellery 22/04/2014

7. The Stash 22/04/2014

8. Indigo Rose 22/04/2014

9. New Media UK 22/04/2014