Property blow

Pop-up retail platform Sook closes as cash dries up

Sook was unable to continue trading

Pop-up retail space operator Sook, which had an outlet in Edinburgh’s St James Quarter, has closed after failing to raise funding required to continue operations.

The platform, founded in 2019 from an empty restaurant in Cambridge, had nearly 300 brands under its wings just three years later.

Sook enabled brands to rent prime spaces and customise stores using its digital fit-out service, with a leasing model that removed conventional barriers to entry for businesses.

As soaring rents and rates created obstacles for retailers, Sook said it was able to get a business operating within 72 hours of an initial enquiry.

In a website post in early 2021, sales and marketing director Ian Reid, said: “We’re resolute in our drive and belief that this is where the future of retail space utilisation is heading.”

However, in a LinkedIn post yesterday, founder John Hoyle, said: “I’m devastated to announce the closure of Sook.

“In spite of the extraordinary efforts of our team, growing sales and achieving international scale, we were unable to raise sufficient investment to continue in the current environment.”

He added: “I’m so proud of all that we achieved and incredibly sad that we cannot continue. Please support our team members as they search for new roles. They have first-hand experience of disrupting the retail and real estate sectors during incredibly challenging times.

“Thank-you to everyone who supported us over the past five years.”

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