It’s easy to get caught up in the large shopping centres and accessible chain stores that London has to offer. But look a little further and there are plenty of one-off shopping events too. We’ve rounded up the best pop-up shops, markets and fairs that are happening in London this month. Just hone in on whichever section tickles your fancy below, and browse by date.
OLD STREET: On 22 April, TfL launched Old Street station as its first full retail destination. The station has seven pop-up shop spaces, and revenue created will be invested back into public transport. Current resident businesses include Mallow & Marsh, Bailey Nelson, and Fully Charged, an electric bike stockist.
RECORDS: Defected Records opens in Shoreditch’s Truman Brewery to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of house music label Defected. The store will stock limited edition music releases, and some of Defected's fashion range. There will also be free events, talks and workshops taking place throughout the residency. Free, 1-18 May
LAUNCH PARTY: Pippi & Jip is an online shop selling children's products, but for one day only, there will be a pop-up shop at 1 – 3 Frederick’s Place. The event will include interactive displays, a chance to meet the designers, interior design consultations and discounts. 15 May, 9am-6pm
BARGAIN SHOES: From 22 May, Hush Puppies has a pop-up store at 68 Neal Street. To celebrate the launch of the pop-up, shoppers on 22 May between 19:00 and 19:58 will be abele to bag a pair of shoes for £5, the original price when the brand launched during 1958.
Events and Sample Sales
BEAUTY: Liberty is holding a series of beauty shopping events throughout the month, pairing up with iconic brands such as Cowshed and Espa.
DISCOUNT FASHION: Fashion mecca Carnaby Street hosts a 20% shopping party. For one night only, get 20% off in the stores and restaurants of Carnaby Street, including American Apparel, Office, The Diner and Cinnamon Soho. Full list here. There will also be live music and various fashion-centric events. The event is free, but you must register for a ticket here. 1 May, 5-9pm
BEAUTY PROJECT: Selfridges' six-week programme The Beauty Project begins on 1 May, with events and debates going on in The Salon.
JEWELLERY SAMPLE SALE: Quirky jewellery brand Tatty Devine is having a sample sale at its flagship Brick Lane store, with up to 90% discount on one off samples, classic out of production pieces, jewellery seconds and a few old favourites 3 May, 11am-6pm
MALAYSIAN FOOD MARKET: The first ever Malaysia Kitchen Spring Market takes place on Southbank, with restaurant stalls spread out between the OXO Tower and Waterloo Bridge. Free, just turn up, 10am-7pm, 3-4 May
RETAIL HISTORY: John Lewis' new exhibition, Stories of a Shopkeeper, launches at the Oxford Street store on 3 May to celebrate 150 years of the business. The exhibition includes artefacts such as the original book in which the first day’s takings were recorded. Free, just turn up, until June
SHOPPING FESTIVAL: Seven Dials shopping area in Covent Garden hosts a Spring Shopping Festival. Those who register will get 20% off in over 130 shops, restaurants and bars, and free drinks and popcorn will also be handed out. 17 May, 12pm-5pm
INTERIORS: The Spring Clean, at the Londonnewcastle Project Space in Shoreditch sees interior designers, fabric, rug and furniture companies selling off excess stock at reasonable prices, to raise money for Kids Company. There will also be food trucks, a raffle and a champagne bar. 30 May-1 June
CROUCH END: North London Vintage Market runs a bank holiday weekend special at St Mary's Parish Hall in Crouch End. There will be different traders on both days, and Saturday visitors can come back on Sunday for free, plus for those who've been before, there will be new traders specialising in vintage hair and make-up. My Little Cake Tin will be selling all manner of cakey goodness (go on, it's a bank holiday...) £1.50, 3-4 May
SPITALFIELDS: So Vintage's monthly market comes to Old Spitafields, giving shoppers a chance to revamp their wardrobe with clothes dating back to the 1950s, reworked jewellery, and homewares. Free, 3 May, 11am-5pm
BETHNAL GREEN: Vintage extraordinares Judy's Vintage Fairs return to Bethnal Green with their novel approach to clothes shopping. The Vintage Kilo Sale lets shoppers buy a kilogram of vintage clothing (which works out at 4-5 items) for £15. Jewellery starts from just 50p per item. Entry is £1. 4 May, 11am-4pm
CHELSEA: Frock Me! Vintage returns to Chelsea Town Hall with over 50 stalls of vintage clothing, textiles, haberdashery & accessories. Plus refreshments from Blackbird Vintage Tea Rooms. £4, 4 May, 11am-5.30pm
NIPPLE TASSELS: The Book Club in Shoreditch hosts Jumble & Pearls Vintage/Designer Fayre. As well as the chance to buy vintage items, we're promised a nipple tassel workshop, live DJs and the chance to get your portrait done on the spot — great if you're going with a group of friends. Free, just turn up, 10 May, 12pm-6pm
LEYTONSTONE: Absofabvintage holds its monthly vintage market at Lister Hall in Leytonstone. £1 entry fee, 10 May, 11am-5pm
CELEBRATION: Clerkenwell Vintage Fair celebrates its 5th anniversary, fashion items dating back to the 1800s. £4, 11 May, 11am-5pm
ALEXANDRA PALACE: Head to Ally Pally for fab views and the Pop Up Vintage Market and Antiques Fair. Note, if you're going with a friend, it's worth signing up for a 2-4-1 Entry Voucher in advance — that's £3 extra to spend on fashion bargains. £6/£3. 11 May, 9.30am-4.30pm
THRIFT: The second Dusty Fingers Sunday Thrift takes place at The Round Chapel, E5, giving vintage lovers a chance to grab some bargains. £1, just turn up, 11am-3pm, 18 May
Art and Craft
AFFORDABLE ART: The monthly Spitalfields Art Market is a chance to buy affordable art, including painting and photography, directly from up-and-coming artists. Recent exhibitors have included treescape artist Gillian Beadle and internationally renowned photographer AJ Silistrie. Free, 1-4 May
BALHAM: Balham Craft Fair comes to The Bedford Pub. Products on sale include tableware, soaps and handmade cards. 3 May, 12pm-5pm
UK PRODUCTS: Oakleigh Fairs is one of the best craft fair organisers in the country and its coming to Spitalfields on 3 May, with art and crafts sellers from across the UK. 3 May
AFRICAN: The African Market returns to Old Spitalfields on Bank Holiday Monday, in association with Open The Gate. The cultural event will give visitors a chance to buy traditional African food and fashion products, but there will also be events such as live Zimbabwean music, two catwalks, a head wrapping demo, storytelling and a mosaics workshop. Free, 5 May, 11am-5pm
CANAL MARKET: Getthrifty's Craft Fair comes to Hayes for the Craft & Design Fair, situated along the canal, the perfect setting for a floating market. As well as stalls selling locally made crafts, there will be live music, a treasure hunt, and boat rides. 11 May, 12pm-5pm
NEW DESIGNERS: DesignersMakers monthly market gives new designers a chance to increase their profile. Products include jewellery, accessories, greeting cards and artwork. This month it takes place on 17 May at Spitalfields Market. Free, 11am-5pm
ART & DESIGN: The Wimbledon Village Affordable Art & Design Fair is a new event, showcasing photographers, scupltors, jewellery makers, potters and more. Free, just turn up, 31 May, 10am-5pm
HANDMADE: We Are Handmade at Spitalfields gives the public a chance to buy handmade items directly from the makers. 31 May
HACKNEY: The monthly Hackney Flea Market takes place at Abney Hall in Stoke Newington on 3-4 May and offers bargain hunters a chance to buy vintage clothes, furniture and records, Scandinavian glass, handmade jewellery and more. Free, 11am-6pm
YARD SALE: Netil Market near London Fields hosts its sixth Sunday Yard Sale. Expect bargains in the form of furniture, books, clothing, kitchenware, shoes and more, plus food stalls. Free, just turn up, 4 May, 11am-4pm
SOHO: The annual Soho Flea Market, described as "London's first designer street market", returns to Dean Street, raising money for local charity Soho Family Centre. Traders include glass blowers, fashion and jewellery designers, furniture makers, and more. Plus, street food will be sold, including offerings from The London Marshmallow Company. 25 May, 11am-7pm
ZINES AND COMICS: DIY Cultures 2014, A day-long festival of zines, artist books, comics, artists-run spaces, talks, films, animation, video art, exhibition and workshops takes place at Rich Mix on 25 May. Free, just turn up, 12pm-7pm
CREATIVE HUB: The Turpentine is a new creative hub in Brixton, selling a hand picked mix of design led indie craft, art and giftware from new designer makers. The opening party takes place on 7 May, 6pm-9pm.
SPORTY: High-end sport and fitness clothing brand lululemon has opened its first full store in Europe on Longacre in Covent Garden. The brand specialises in yoga and running sportswear and has a Saturday running club as well as regular yoga classes with guest teachers.
SPORTIER: On 18 April, Sporting Pro on High Street Kensington launched a Reebok FitHub within the store, with Reebok clothing, fitness classes and fully qualified trainers.
VINTAGE OUTLET: In mid-April, vintage pioneers Beyond Retro opened an outlet shop-within-a-shop in their flagship Cheshire Street store. The Outlet offers customers between 20-70% off vintage items.
MENSWEAR: British luxury fashion brand Aquascutum has announced it is opening a new menswear store on Jermyn Street. The store is expected to open in late May/early June.
We want to keep these monthly shopping and market listings as relevant, up-to-date, and interesting as possible, and we want your input. Got any top tips, for great local markets or upcoming shopping events? Know of any pop-up shops opening soon, or anything we've missed? Leave a comment below or hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.