Shoppers flocked to a pickup of designer goods for nearly a tenner at a new vintage store in Swansea, helping it challenge the coronavirus crisis.
Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and LLB shirts are bought for next to nothing at Flamingos Vintage Swansea.
The Princess Way store first opened before Christmas with its large flamingo outside signaling people what is on offer.
Retail manager Charlotte Davies said their customers helped them survive the blockages even though they were new to the city.
She said: âIt was amazing when we first opened because we were brand new in Swansea. It was a smooth launch, it was the first time we had done the traffic light system, pay per kilo. It was Christmas time when we opened and everyone thought we were a pop-up store.
âWe opened the store about three weeks before the Christmas lockdown. We got calls from the family saying we had to go out of business. It worked so well and we were absolutely disgusted. We thought this was actually happening, we had to log in and reopen in April. People were trying to open the doors during the lockdown. “
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Charlotte added: âOur vintage Ralph Lauren shirts are selling for as little as Â£ 11. Every item in store is imported from America. We have a huge selection of brands from Tommy Hilfiger and LLB to Ralph Lauren and American sports jerseys.
âIf a customer asks us for a European or UK brand, we just refer them to other local vintage department stores, Hobo’s Swansea and RAVS. The vintage scene is developing rapidly in Swansea and it is important that we support each other.
She said people of all ages flocked to get their hands on vintage American items.
âWe’ve had kids, parents – a lot of people are interested in second-hand clothes, it’s all American vintage,â she said.
âIt’s really good because we make them affordable at Â£ 20 per kilo, Â£ 30 per kilo and Â£ 40 per kilo for blouses. The lowest mark is Â£ 15 per kilo, this is to give everyone a chance to find affordable clothing. It’s really inclusive, a dress came in at Â£ 2.50.
âIt thrills everyone and you can collect it by the kilo. The vintage theme is developing in Swansea.
She said there were only a handful of big names on Main Street in the heart of Swansea, she had worried about attendance but was happy with their success so far.
âThere isn’t much in Swansea, there are only three or four department stores in the city center,â she said.
âI was really skeptical about attendance, but the lockdown helped us. Swansea town center is not far from the marina and the beach, people come to pick up their coffees to go. People are curious when they pass because there is a big flamingo on the front.
âThe flamingo graffiti on the back of the store was done by local graffiti artist, Hasan Kamil. He’s done amazing things across town like the murals on the Dark Horse Mumbles, Noah’s Yard in Uplands, Haystack Cafe in Brynhyfyrd, and BeerRiff down the marina.
Charlotte added: âWe went wild on the walls and we’re adding more and more. It is a hidden gem.