The Manchester vintage shop ‘popping up’ in an old bank to beat energy costs

A Manchester vintage shop has moved to an old bank – which is also home to an art gallery – to help beat rising energy costs.

Lily Vintage, which is currently based at RAG gallery on Wilbraham Road in Chorlton, has been operating on a pop-up basis since it moved from Fallowfield in early 2022.

The vintage shop was based at a permanent unit in Chorlton for three months last year, but rising energy costs forced the owners to consider other locations.

Richard Bolger, owner of Lily Vintage, said: “Bills are a nightmare…in our last place, which was a small cafe unit, one week at Christmas it was £100 a week [for energy costs], which is unaffordable.”

Since moving to RAG gallery as a pop-up shop, the vintage clothes seller has been able to cut energy costs significantly.

“Taking a full time shop on, it’d just be commitment, repairs to the building and landlords and rent…which is still too high,” added Richard.

“The pop up model suits us because you want to test something out first in an area, before you look at a permanent lease, and you can’t really do that unless you’re ‘on the ground’, so to speak.”

The shop has proved very popular in Chorlton, with customers ranging from “families with kids” to people “in their seventies and eighties coming in and loving it”.

Lily Vintage to expand on its success as a pop-up shop by setting up “two or three different units running on short lets” across Manchester.

For more information about Lily Vintage, visit their Instagram or Facebook page.

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