— 31 Dec 2020, 11:00 by Tashia Cameron
Needless to say, 2020 has been an EVENTFUL year…
We have faced some of the harshest economical and political challenges this year, and too many businesses in hospitality, retail, leisure and events have collapsed as a result. We are extremely lucky to still be standing as we approach the end of 2020.
Let’s take a moment to recap on what has happened this year. A global pandemic hit us all right at the start of the year, crushing any goals we had planned for 2020. Devastatingly, we lost legendary LA Lakers player Kobe Bryant and Black Panther King Chadwick Boseman which was a big shock to us all. In the summer, a tragic incident occurred in the US with the death of George Floyd which triggered the Black Lives Matter movement and protests around the world. In other politics, Joe Biden defeated incumbent president Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, Britain officially left the EU and Prince Harry and Meghan quit the Royal Family.
But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Some good things have come out of 2020 and we think it’s important to reflect on what we have achieved so that we’re ready to take on 2021.
People are at the heart of everything we do. We always aim to celebrate multiculturalism through our diverse calendar of events and use this platform to champion local, homegrown and emerging talent. Here are some pretty awesome moments from 2020...
We had the UK’s number one grime artist and homegrown talent come to BOXPARK Croydon and perform a free surprise gig to thank his fans for their support. Born and bred in South London, Stormzy appearing at our venue brought the local community together.
Aston Villa Carabao Cup Final
Among other key sporting events, BOXPARK Wembley was the ultimate fanpark destination for the Aston Villa Carabao Cup Final back in March pre-Covid. The atmosphere was incredible and we loved seeing everyone come together - we are the best place to throw a pint in the air!
Black History Month / Black Pound Day
We invited the Founder of Black Pound Day, Swiss to come and host a series of panel discussions across our London venues to raise awareness of some of the major issues affecting Black businesses and communities and how to create positive change.
Our Eat.Drink.Play ethos is ever-growing and evolving. We are always looking for new and exciting opportunities at BOXPARK - here’s just a few ways we have continued to build our roster of traders.
Retail / Pop-Ups
We have welcomed a wave of new, independent retailers to our community and also supported some small businesses with our pop-up space including Jamii, Afi Akos, Screwface Forever and many more. Despite lack of footfall on the high streets, we have focused on delivering top quality events and entertainment to attract people to come and shop at BOXPARK Shoreditch.
Since the first lockdown, we have proudly introduced over a dozen new street food traders across our venues to give our customers an even broader choice of global cuisine. We have acted as an incubator, giving small, independent traders a platform to launch and grow their business.
We are excited to bring Pop Golf to BOXPARK Wembley as a new leisure operator. Opening in March 2021, you can come and enjoy an immersive music-themed crazy golf experience. Our site in Croydon will also become home to a top-secret leisure brand in the New Year.
Just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit us, we were set to reach record profits but throughout this difficult period, we have been extremely resilient and tried our best to remain optimistic about the future. We saw opportunities amidst all the gloom and made some key appointments to help improve and grow our business.
David Gough, Chief Operating Officer
David joined us in September bringing an extensive skill set to help build on our success and take the business to the next level. He is now responsible for all site operations including leading and executing the company’s strategy, overseeing all commercial aspects of the business, enhancing the customer experience, and focusing on training and employee development.
Simon Bishop, Property Director
Simon came on board in August with over 25 years’ experience in leisure acquisitions for restaurants, pubs, hotels, and casinos. He is responsible for sourcing potential sites for BOXPARK’s original concept, as well as BoxHall.
We maintained a positive outlook despite the closure of our sites over two national lockdowns by focusing on our key strengths as a business. We never stand still - always moving forward! We won two major awards in 2020 and hope to keep succeeding as we enter a New Year.
RLI Awards 2020
We were crowned the Most Innovative F&B Concept’ (sponsored by ECE) of The Global Retail Leisure International (RLI) Awards 2020 for offering a unique food and drink, retail, and leisure concept.
Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100
We were listed as one of the fastest growing UK companies in the 24th annual Sunday Times Fast Track 100 list for the third consecutive year, after securing strong ranks in the league table from 2019 and 2018. We ranked number 52!
We pride ourselves on our industry-leading, innovative technology. 2020 has given us an opportunity to put new technology to the test and build a seamless digital customer experience.
We launched our fantastic new mobile ordering service in response to the Covid-19 restrictions to enable us to operate a full table service and click and collect experience. Customers can make fast and convenient transactions with the option to pre-order food and drink to pick up, or make an order from the table inside the venue.
BOXPARK Black Card
This year, we have pioneered a digital membership and loyalty scheme with our Black Card, giving customers access to a range of exclusive food, drink and event offers.