Gross Domestic Product

People used to open shops to sell stuff, however, that now feels very old hat. These days the reasons for becoming a shopkeeper include: brand engagement, showrooming, service outreach, customer data gathering, to add vitality to a coworking facility, to operate a church or perhaps because you were just lacking better things to do and the space was cheap. Add to that this week: to preserve one’s intellectual property rights. Shadowy graffiti artist Banksy has opened a pop-up in the centre of Croydon, with the sole purpose of asserting his right to use his own name. Trademark law states that if the holder of a brand does not use their own mark, then others can do so in their place. This is a bit of a problem for someone who is deliberately anonymous; and an opportunity that has been seized upon by a greetings card company, which is selling look-a-like merchandise. To say that Banksy’s pop-up is packed would be a lie, because its doors will in fact never open; however, the window display is reported to have been creating congestion up and down Church Street. Of course, there is also nothing that you can actually buy in the shop; nevertheless, a promised online pairing will sell a variety of ‘impractical and offensive’ merchandise. And who said that the high street was dead?