Free pop-up space to house fashion designers on Oxford Street
A former New Look flagship store on Oxford street is set to house fashion labels for free as Westminster City Council continues to invest in the revival of what was London’s and Europe’s premier shopping street pre-pandemic.
The council is offering up-and-coming labels free pop-up space in the run-up to Christmas and into the New Year at 500 Oxford Street. The council has signed up for the large site and will target multiple start-up labels, Property Week reported.
It said the council will charge no rent on the space, as well as covering more than £800,000 in business rates.
Jeremy Grey, managing director at James Andrew International, which is acting for the landlord, told the trade publication that he hoped the initiative would showcase the next “superstars” of Oxford Street. And he added that “fresh faces” are needed to attract shopper on the street to attract shoppers.
It’s a telling indication of how the landscape on Oxford Street has changed this century. When the store opened after heavy investment from New Look, fast-fashion was on a roll and value-focused retailers were opening huge flagship spaces in expensive locations.
But the online boom changed all that and New Look started closing stores before the pandemic hit.
Post-pandemic, Oxford Street itself is reeling from a number of big-name store closures such as Topshop, Gap, Zara, Debenhams and Next. And the proportion of fashion on the street compared to its overall retail space has plummeted.
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