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Online retailers join on-street line ups as Depop and Sook pop-up for a green Christmas

Circular fashion platform Depop is partnering with retail space agency Sook to create pop up stores throughout UK, in a bid to encourage sales of pre-loved clothing and reviving high streets in time for the Christmas rush, writes Elizabeth Streeter.

The six-month partnership will start in London for the lead up to Christmas then expand nationwide in the New Year. Depop’s selling of pre-loved clothes is timed perfectly to revitalise the trend that took Covid by storm – upcycling. People are encouraged to re-purpose their old clothes and give them new life which tends to coincide with trending styles. By having pop up stands near to large mainstream high street retailers, the plan aims to encourage people to buy more eco-friendly this Christmas. 

The partnership will be showing off 11 unique sellers in Sook’s pop-up places around Central London. The first pop-up will appear on 30 November 2023, taking over Sook’s premises on South Molton Street, offering a variety of vintage and ‘Y2K’ pieces. Depop is encouraging sellers to engage more with the consumers and to promote eco-friendly options. More of Depop’s sellers will be appearing in other Sook spots – such as on Oxford Street – across 15, 16, 22 and 24 of December. 

All these events have been made possible by the ‘Powered by Depop’ programme that aims to promote circular fashion. The event will be free to attend and Depop hopes to reach new eco-conscious customers. 

The reach of these pop-up stores will go far further than anticipated. These temporary stands can bring in 20 to 30% more revenue than a regular store and will overall increase online sales by introducing them to a wider audience. However, it also impacts the traditional, long-suffering – and more permanent – high street shops. Covid and crippling business and retail rates are forcing many high street shops to resort to becoming online as not enough people are buying from the street shops. Meanwhile, pureplays are increasingly looking to boost their profile by opening physical stores, often temporarily.

These pureplay pop-ups may, however, also encourage more in-person shopping, revitalising the high street and all the shops within it. In 2024, we can look forward to seeing more of these around public holidays and popular spending sprees. 

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