How to... Rent a space that's new

West Quay in Southampton at sunset


The launch of three brand new pop-up spaces in Southampton, Leeds and Birmingham is exciting for us, sure, but also - hopefully - exciting for the communities of which they are to become a part, and continuing the regeneration of our retail landscapes.

(Have a read of our blog on high street regeneration: A Tale Of Two High Streets)

To explore more about these premium new spaces - and how their rich retail history make them ideal locations for your brand to try out - read on...


Our spaces at Westquay, Southampton, Bullring, Birmingham, and Victoria, Leeds, are sticking with the tradition of being super easy to use, affordable and, even if we say so ourselves, in the very primiest of prime locations. 

All three, in different ways, leverage such a rich retail past. We mean - come on - the area now called the Bull Ring, or Bullring, was holding legal trade events as far back at 1154, for Sook’s sake! In fact, the charter of marketing rights was granted by medieval kinging legend, Henry II

Sticking with the medieval theme, West Quay, Southampton was the area’s most important commercial quay, and the Westquay centre cuddles right up against the old city walls, hailing from a hilarious time when possessing underwear was an indicator of social standing. 

And Victoria Gate in Leeds, fair Leeds. Built in the Victoria Quarter, it was dubbed ‘the Knightsbridge of the North’ and has had a reputation for high-end fashion and lifestyle for over 100 years. The Victorian era was a pivotal time for both the economy and for culture. Shopping was a fundamental part of how women were able to socialise with each other outside the home, and coupled with the influx of imported goods from further away from ever before, it, frankly, opened up worlds *gets little shiver*.

We’re really looking forward to bringing pop-up possibility to three different counties and beyond. But enough about us, what about you? 


Market testing is a way for brands to, you’ve guessed it, test a market to see whether it offers a viable route to connect with customers and boost sales. Online, this may mean targeting a different demographic, or surveying your existing consumer base, but in the world of physical retail, this often means setting up shop in a new location for a time  and seeing what happens: Who’s around?; How many people are coming in?; Are they buying?; What are they buying?; Why?

Read Harvard Business Review’s blog on When, Where and How To Test a Market

Renting a space for a pop-up is low-risk, and ‘low-risk’ is the absolute key here. Branching out into new markets can be expensive, so you need a way to experiment without ruining yourself in the process. 

Read our blog IRL For The Win: 5 Reasons Having Physical Space Is So Important


We’re in a privileged position, here at Sook HQ, to be able to spot trends within the burgeoning shared-space sector, and recently we wrote about how brands are leveraging the entire Sook network to take their offering around the country, to test markets. Knowing what you’re getting in any test space is important - which is why all Sook spaces are standardised, with the same level of quality fittings, and wall-to-wall digital screens to make branding easy - so that risk is lowered at every possible turn. We LOVE this emerging behaviour, exhibited by tech brand Raspberry Pi, and beauty brand Hydrafacial, among others, that evolves the place of Sook in our communities.

Read our blog Brands On The Run: Taking Your Business On Tour With Sook

Read our blog How To Merchandise Your Sook

You might be a pop-up newbie, with the urge to get out there into The Real World skirting round the edge of your subconscious business strategy. You might already be a frequent player in the rent-a-space game, and have been holding pop-up events for your amazing brand for a while. How’s that going? What have you learned? What’s the next step for you? 

Easy. Rent a space with Sook.

Find out how your brand can pop-up with Sook

If you would like to book one of our spaces