Heather Rose Rignall

Heather Rose Rignall

COURSE: Fashion Business & Promotion 2017


TITLE: Downtime


Downtime: A destination for conversation
Birmingham´s unique retail and dining experience, fusing on-trend, locally-sourced products and inspiring conversations within a pioneering community space.
Downtime aims to provide a unique shopping and dining experience that appeals to aesthetically switched-on customers (our ‘guests’). They seek out well-designed product but also have a social conscience and thrive on meeting like-minded others. Launching in Autumn 2019, Downtime will target the design conscious Creative Class who live and work in Birmingham. Research indicates these Millennials and Gen X creatives are particularly prevalent in Birmingham (3-4% higher compared with the national average according to the 2011 census).

Working with a total investment pool of approximately £80,000 (a combination of government start-up loans, seed money and a small Kickstarter fund) Downtime is projected to realise a modest profit in the second year of trading. This rises to £171,000 at the end of the third year. Downtime’s core revenue streams will be a cafe-style food and drink offering alongside an own-brand and labelled homeware selection, this sector is projected to grow by 14% over the next five years (Mintel, 2016). It is felt that having a people centric focus in the current social and economic climate will both differentiate Downtime from the competition and make the business proposition successful.

Unlike other retail concept spaces, Downtime will focus on suppliers, artisans and designers from the West Midlands, to create a genuine sense of active support for the community. In this curated experience, discrete hosts will ensure guests leave with the feeling that they are part of something truly special, where the emphasis is not on profit, but on authenticity and a shared set of values. With great food, great music and amazing lifestyle products distributed over three floors, Downtime’s location at the Custard Factory in Digbeth is the perfect base from which to attract creative Millennials and Generation X, and all those who are design-conscious.

Founder Heather became fully immersed in the Final Major Project, applying her imagination when creating and designing every aspect of 'Downtime'. Collaborating with multi-disciplined students, Heather project managed meticulously to fully realise the concept. She now seeks employment within visual communication to pursue her interest in store design and creative marketing.

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