By Aimee Chanthadavong

Sydney’ Oxford Street was once a lively, pedestrian-filled street popular amongst consumers for strip shopping. But due to increased competition, a lot of many retailers have suffered, indicated by the growing number of vacant stores stamped with ‘for lease’ and ‘for sale’ signs.

To help revive the street, the City of Sydney has been running a program to allow ‘pop-up’ style retailers to make use of the vacant lots.

A 2012 expression of interest called for unique, innovative ideas or creative projects interested in taking up temporary residency.
Twenty five projects were selected and placed on the register for 24 months, with projects given the opportunity to use vacant City-owned properties on a one, three, six or 12-month basis when appropriate space becomes available.

Lord mayor Clover Moore said the register was designed to give creative start-ups access to affordable studio, office and retail spaces in the city.
“We understand the challenges creative businesses face finding affordable inner-city spaces,” she said.
“The short-term register means local creative start-ups get the first call when space becomes available in many of our City-owned properties.
“It helps creative businesses flourish – and it’s a great opportunity for Sydneysiders to see and purchase some of the best work our emerging designers produce.”
One retailer that is taking shelter in one of these spots it Australian furniture, homewares and lighting brand Anomaly, a collaboration between Sydney design firms Axolotl and Evostyle
The brand will be put under the creative spotlight in a new pop-up showroom at 104 Oxford Street, after the collaborators joined the City’s short-term creative retail and space register.
Anomaly has taken up residence close to other projects from the register that have enjoyed great success on Oxford Street, including World Famous Westsyde, an artist studio, gallery and skate shop, and Maaike Furniture Resurrection, an ‘open studio’ for up-cycling furniture and refurbishing salvaged, second-hand and pre-loved items.