ArkHive is a new concept brand from The Timpson Group. Timpson was founded in 1865 and now the group includes the Timpson shoe repair shops and the Max Spielmann and Snappy Snaps photo shops. The group is now one of the UK’s biggest providers of ID photos, which is what pushed us to start assessing and developing our ID business Two years ago. Although the trend is to move things online, we believe there will always be value in a face to face transaction. We think our strength is having lots of shops filled with fantastic people. So we started thinking about how we could add value to specific services or transactions by having a physical interaction in a shop. This is why we have created our first purpose built identity shop- ArkHive.

Focusing on SMEs

For businesses, we are offering services such as pre-employment screening, DBS (CRB) checks, landlord/tenant checks and more. After talking to SMEs, it became obvious that the processes associated with these checks can be onerous. Not only do SMEs have a small headcount and low overheads; they often don’t have an HR team or the legal expertise to allow them to make an educated decision as to which checks would be beneficial to their business.

We want to offer SMEs a dedicated place where our experts can handle the whole process for them. With the world as it is today, it’s becoming more and more important to know who you are working and dealing with. There aren’t many providers of these services that are focused on the SME market and this is a gap that we are aiming to fill.

ArkHive 2

ArkHive 3Inside the ArkHive shop we offer Wi-Fi, hot desks, and tea/coffee all free of charge. There is also a meeting room which is free to use for HBP members. We want to be more than a shop; we want it to be a networking space, a community hub and a professional place for people to meet.

Our individual customersArkHive 4

We opened our doors in November as part of the soft opening in Henley. We really want to expand upon what we can do for individuals. We think it can be difficult to prove your identity online and it can be risky to share personal information on the internet. This is something we are really focused on improving. We want to make it easier for individuals to prove their identity and much safer for them to share information online. Currently, our services for individuals include; guaranteed ID Photos (for all applications), instant document and photo printing/scanning, VIP application service (including passports), basic criminal records checks, advice on keeping your information secure online and we are also developing a hyper secure online data store.

What next?

Many of our identity services will be going live shortly and we have purposely made our price point SME friendly. Also, as we trial the store we will be offering a lot of these checks for free in return for customer feedback (please get in touch if you would like to take part!). The Henley store is our test bed and if it is successful, we will consider rolling these identity shops out further across the UK or we may try to implement some of these services into our core estate of branches.