Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bo-Concepts Find Quay To Success

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On October 10, 2015 No Comments

Leading promotional space company Bo-Concepts’ continued growth means that, not only do they have the key to success, but they now also have the keys to new, bigger offices at Exchange Quay in Manchester.

Bringing life to the UK’s High Streets for over 10 years, the move is indicative of the company’s vision for strategic growth and a desire to be at the heart of the North West’s exciting creative and media hub and a stone’s throw from Media City.

Founder and Managing Director Alison Bowcott-McGrath is excited by the move and what the future may hold:

“The offices in Cheadle have been home for the past five years and I will be sad to leave. But, as mobile and digital technologies become ever more intrinsic to our creative solutions and commercial activity, we need to be in the creative hub and innovative in our approach to drive people into shopping centres.

“We are all really excited about the move, it’s time for us to take the business to the next level”

If you are interested in finding out more about Bo-Concepts contact Gary Williams on 0161 850 1409


Shopping Centre Promotions

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On August 28, 2014 No Comments

Our founder and managing director, Alison Bowcott-McGrath discusses the importance of vision and variety in shopping centre stands to benefit both shoppers and retailers in online magazine Shopping Centre.

Read more here.

Goldman Sachs Small Business Support Programme

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On May 12, 2014 No Comments

Bo-Concepts were invited to join the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, designed to help small business to grow by providing greater access to business education and business support services.

Areas considered important to growing small businesses were networking and peer learning opportunities which highlighted new ideas, knowledge and skills which helped develop strategies for growth and longevity.

Read more about the support programme and how our founder Alison Bowcott-McGrath benefited;

Click here: Goldman Sachs Small Business Support Programme


Bo-Concepts In The News Again!

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On January 17, 2014 No Comments

Bo-Concepts innovative work as champions of the High Street is attracting more media attention.

Click on this link to see Bo-Concepts featured in Retail Week

Retail Week – News Article

Bo-Concepts Founder, Alison Bowcott-McGrath makes headline news!

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On October 22, 2013 No Comments
Bo-Concepts Founder, Alison Bowcott-McGrath makes headline news!

Bo-Concepts Founder, Alison Bowcott-McGrath makes headline news!

For a link to the full piece in the Stockport Express, follow this link.


The High Street to ride high once again

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On September 19, 2013 1 Comment

Bo-Concepts is creating a new future for our local high streets and has scooped up nominations for two top business awards in the process.

Their innovative space management strategy is breathing new life into towns, cities and local communities across the northwest and the UK. They are turning around the fortunes of our tired and depressed high streets by hosting high profile fun events for major household brands and encouraging people back into their local town centres.

Founder, Alison Bowcott-McGrath has been shortlisted as ‘Business Person of the Year’ in the prestigious Stockport Business Awards and is a nominee for the EN Female Entrepreneur of the year 2013, as an acknowledgment of the positive impact her innovative approach to has made to local communities.

One great example of this work in action can be seen in Wythenshawe – thought to be one of the most deprived areas in the UK and one of the largest council estates in Europe. Almost 70% of residents receiving housing benefit and 40% of residents considering themselves to have a disability, long-term illness or mental health condition.
Bo-Concepts has worked with Wythenshawe Town Centre to generate income from their open space and to re-invest this money to reduce crime, clean up the town centre, host community events and enable the town to be a safer and more attractive place for retailers and shoppers. These measures have been well received by local people and shoppers have returned to their local community.

The thing that’s special about Alison is her journey to setting up and growing Bo-Concepts. She lost both her parents within a few weeks of one another just months before getting married, and just 1 month before launching the business. Rather than letting these life changing events distract her, Alison used the experiences to develop a renewed focus and passion for business and a commitment to succeed. Over the past 9 years, Alison has juggled becoming a mother of two with building a market leading business.

The Icing on the Cake

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On July 25, 2013 No Comments

Do you want to have your cake and eat it?  Bo-Concepts have a calorie laden chunk for every town, city centre and BID.   We can serve you up lots of creative solutions to bring zest and vitality to your promotional space.  We will create the right environment for the perfect shopper experience.

We bring space to life……..

For the past 9 years Bo-Concepts has successfully managed the commercialisation for town, city centres and BID.  £1.1 million was generated in 2012 alone from the sale of promotional space.

We have been working with our town, city centres and BIDs with great success and our operational experience supports new research launched this month on the Town Centre Customer Journey.

Loughborough University with the Economic & Social Research Council have investigated the holistic customer experience in 6 town centres across England.

“Touch points” are created throughout the customer journey and created each time an ‘experience’ occurs.

Through surveys and observational studies carried out they found that “touch points” fit into two categories;

Functional touch points – These satisfy practical purposes, convenience, and efficiency.  Town/City centre functional points included stores and products, access and layout, parking and information.

Experiential touch points – atmospherics, social interaction, and “a buzz”.

Experiential points included special events, markets, atmosphere, social interaction, refreshments/eating out, customer service and savings/bargains.

During the research, comments from shoppers included, “Free cakes and biscuits were being handed out as a promotional item”.

There was a good display by the Fire Fighters.  It was interesting and it pulled in a lots of crowd attention.”

These ‘experiential’ touch points create a lasting experience and dwell time is extended.  It was proven that as dwell time increased so did the average spend and there was an overall improved shopper experience.

Layout of the town, anchor stores, parking costs are some of the key customer touch points that can take time to change and some centres may never be able to influence.

Experiential touch points can be easily influenced engaging the customer and creating that memorable experience.  We are continuing to work with town, city centres and BIDs, to bring their promotional space to life through a varied promoter mix and managed events.  Creating customer loyalty and a sense of belonging creates an environment where they want to return time and time again.

Bo-Concepts are ambassadors for the experiential touch points and we are positioned to action these findings from Loughborough University to support UK centres to address these challenges.

Some of the Bo-Concepts ingredients that enable us to serve up creative solutions include… a heaped tablespoon of ‘win win’ philosophy, a pint of passion and layers of income cherries. These enable the creation of experiential touch points enabling you to ‘surprise’ and ‘delight’ creating a loyal shopping experience.

Industry Talk

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On July 1, 2013 No Comments

Town centres must act now before Portas window closes 1st July 2013

Retail expert Mary Portas repeated her calls to the Government to tackle spiralling business rates, which she says are stifling growth in our high streets and blocking the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

This follows the Government’s decision to postpone a rate review by two years, meaning retailers will have to pay business rates based on rents in 2008 – at the height of the market – until 2017.

Hopes remain that investment in the 12 designated Portas Pilot towns, which bid so enthusiastically in 2011 for a share of Government funds to revive their own fortunes, will still have a positive impact on the future of our high streets.

But this window of opportunity won’t stay open forever and towns may well miss their chance to revitalise local trading if retailers are forced to wait another two years for what many see as a lifeline. Without fast and decisive action, the decision to postpone a rate review will spell the end of the road for some and the threat of more empty retail units will make it harder to entice shoppers back into town.

With the Portas Review came the tantalising hope that, with practical and financial support and success in the form of increased footfall, fully tenanted shops and thriving community-friendly spaces. These towns would provide the inspiration and the blueprint for others to follow suit and one day transform the destiny of Britain’s high streets.

Fuelled by the hope, determination and vision as we saw then, this should be a time of creativity, positivity and activity in our town centres.

Before this opportunity passes, we need to rekindle that focus and determination and, crucially, clear routes for open and constructive dialogue between town centre managers and local authorities, trade bodies like the Association of Town Centre Managers, and policy makers at local and national level, in a bid to share best practice, celebrate success and put into action tangible plans that really work.

Town centres are about more than shops; they are about communities. If we can make town centres more appealing, relevant places for residents to visit then we have a far greater chance of bringing money into these spaces.

Take our work in the town centres of Wythenshawe and Workington for example, where we are helping town centre managers support their retailers and stimulate community cohesion by creating more reasons to visit more regularly. We have helped these towns increase footfall, dwell time and stimulate true community spirit through a variety of promoter mix, truly bringing space to life, while at the same time generating direct income that can be used to fund activities such as events, CCTV and floral displays.

If we can give our communities the chance to see, taste, smell, play, learn and enjoy themselves in our town centre spaces, they are far more likely to spend their money in our shops and eateries and to come back in the future.


By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On June 21, 2013 No Comments

It’s been a busy couple of months in the world of Bo-Concepts my dear followers (I may need to give the Bo-Concepts followers a nickname. If Justin Beiber has his Beliebers therefore Bo-Concepts can have our Bolievers!). New recruits have come into the business to support our ever-expanding client base and last quarter was officially our best ever.

So at this stage we have taken some time out to reflect on what we have achieved so far and how we have done this. One key question we have asked our team has been this – “Do you know what your purpose is?” (At this point I would like you to ask yourself this question, then write your answer on a piece of paper and save it for later.)

We have all been there at one time or another, caught up in the moment, working all the hours God sends through a massive project and becoming so involved that you lose sight of the ultimate goal.

But at Bo-Concepts we know that this style of working is not productive and it is not how we work! We continually coach and train our team to ensure that they are motivated, happy and working to their full potential. This optimum performance comes from team having……..

Autonomy – The desire to be self-directed
Mastery – The desire to get better and better at something that matters
Purpose – How does what you do impact on your life and that of others?

One of the areas that we can see our team really taking on board the ideas of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose is through each individual deciding on their own target for the quarter. Setting their own targets makes them more engaged in their work and enhances their drive and desire to succeed.

A key inspiration for Bo-Concepts in developing this approach has been Dan Pink. I have attached a link to his TED talks lecture in which Dan examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think.


Once you have listened to this, ask yourself the same question we started with and see if your answer matches the first. I bet you will be surprised!

So on that note my dear Bolievers (see what I did there!) I will end this chapter of the Bo-Concepts story and leave you with a famous quote about motivation. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” – Muhammad Ali

Social Responsibility

By Alison Bowcott-McGrath On April 3, 2013 No Comments

frontline sporting chamion 2013Well the Bo-Concepts team have been powering our way through the year and its true what they say time flies when your having fun, so much so we can now see summer on the horizon. (Hopefully it will have stopped snowing by then!),

Bo-Concepts are really working hard to give something back to the world and have embraced its social responsibility.  We have got off to a great start and in this vain we are pleased to share the fact that we are sponsoring 3 children in Africa.

The money that Bo-Concepts is donating will go towards their education, school uniform, all their school resources and food. They are based in Jinga in Uganda and are 3 of 7 children that have tragically lost both their parents to AIDS.  We are also planning for one of our team to go across to see how they are doing and also help with some local community projects. We will be providing updates on how Mariam 12, Warida 9 and Wharid 7 are progressing throughout the year. (more…)