Online-only sellers from sites like Depop and Vinted are delivering a much-needed boost to the British high street through a growing network of pop-up spaces.
While many believe the rise of online retailers is to blame for the demise of the high street, Sook, the UK’s only flexible, digitally connected pop-up space operator, says many online-only sellers are now moving towards a hybrid retail model, which sees them using short-term physical stores to complement and grow their online sales and brand awareness.
The company says that’s because the financial and systemic hurdles that have prevented innovation are slowly starting to disappear, and brands can now rent a space across towns and cities in the UK on a daily, weekly or even hourly basis.
It’s a hopeful sign, the company says, that is reimagining the way we shop in the future and paves the way for a fundamental high street renaissance driven by online independents.
Sook CEO John Hoyle said: “While many see chain stores pulling out of our high streets as a sign of high street decline, we see it as progress. Those generic stores were the product of short-termist and misguided policies and were simply reinforcing mediocrity. What we’re seeing happen now is very, very different. By reimagining our high streets, we can ensure independents have the ability to innovate and effect sustainable change.”