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Pop-up to launch at former New Look flagship store on Oxford Street

Pop-ups bring buzz back to transformed high streets following pandemic

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Design for entrance of 500 Oxford Street

Published: 23 November 2021

Westminster City Council, in partnership with New West End Company and James Andrew International, will launch a pop-up store, focused on inclusivity and sustainability, at 500 Oxford Street from 26 November to 24 January.

Footfall to the West End has increased by 20% since September, and 12 November saw the area for the first time busier than before the pandemic, with the world’s largest Christmas lights switch-on.

However, footfall, on average, remains down two-thirds since COVID-19 hit.

To help attract people back to the area and to diversify the retail offer and support local entrepreneurs, Westminster City Council has been coordinating a pop-up programme, using vacant retail space to enable small scale businesses, homegrown start-ups and emerging creative talent to showcase in Central London.

Since May 2021, in partnership with Business Improvement Districts and land and property owners, the council has enabled 13 pop ups, from art installations to fashion and wellness stores, all of which have had a social purpose.

Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning at Westminster City Council said:

As a Council, we’re determined to do all that we can to bring the buzz back to the West End this Christmas. The latest visitor numbers are encouraging but this is a make-or-break festive season for many businesses. The pressures of COVID and online shopping have changed high streets forever and we know that more must be done to support the ongoing revival of the area. 

The Collect on 500 Oxford Street is our biggest and boldest pop-up yet – creating a rare opportunity for new, growing brands to sell their products on the nation’s high street in time for Christmas.

The latest pop up named ‘The Collect’, will be located between Marble Arch and Oxford Circus tube stations and will showcase eight bold and up and coming brands.

The selected brands use design as a tool to inspire change, with gender fluid fashion, ecological integrity, social justice and the use of innovative materials and mindful production.

Included is Bleaq, an inspiring community of designers who use creativity as a catalyst for social, political and environmental action, and Archive Six, a top Depop seller brand that specialises in second-hand clothes and rare vintage items. 

In common, the brands all have a passion for sustainability, and many challenge the conventional standards in the beauty and fashion industries, taking an inclusive approach and questioning the norm.

At the entrance of the store, there will be an immersive art installation by artist, Carson Parkin-Fairley complementing the boldness of the brands.

It will involve a ‘tropical haven’ with bright, vibrant colours and visitors will be encouraged to take pictures of themselves in the space which she describes as ‘a world transformed by colour, joy and pattern, where nobody is a stranger and everyone is welcome’.

Luciana Magliocco, Associate Director of Oxford Street at New West End Company said:

New West End Company is delighted to be working with Westminster City Council to launch The Collect on Oxford Street.

As a destination famous for its First Seen proposition, this exciting new pop up will offer shoppers a truly diverse and inclusive experience.

From gender fluid fashion to sustainable wears, in an immersive space - it's a must visit this festive season.

Find out more about the launch of the pop up programme and a list of all the previous and current activations.