The Poundshop: designer pop up retail spaces

19th June 2013

The Poundshop is not what you might expect. Yes, most of the items on display and for sale might cost £1 (or £5; £10 at most) but this Poundshop sells work from contemporary designers and keeps popping up around London, with one very recent foray to Manchester.

Poundshop 7 was hosted and sponsored by the Chinese Art Centre in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in June 2013. The bespoke interiors of each Poundshop are as interesting as the quirky collection of items created by established and upcoming designers from around the UK. For the Manchester pop-up, The Poundshop interior constructed around bright red plastic crates was designed by a local agency called Music.

Photo by Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash

Photo by Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash

The intention of the three Royal College of Art graduates (Sarah Gottlieb and Sara Melin and George Wu) who created The Poundshop was “to spread design to a wider audience by making it accessible through price and engagement.”

They definitely spread design ideas through the products that they have on sale as well as by using different designers for each pop-up interior.

It will be interesting to see what Poundshop 8 looks like. They have come a long way from disused shop in Croydon in 2010; next pop-up is in the concept store in Selfridges, as well as a window installation, as part of Selfridges Bright Young Things 2013. The items for Poundshop 8 will be retailed at either £1 or £5 and the designers are charged with making a functional, “desirable, durable, value for money object.”

In between the pop-up shops, customers around the world can purchase the unique pieces of very affordable design in the online store at