PSFK visits this chain of pop-up sample sale spaces, which offers excess high-end products in a space that's decidedly different than other stores

Most retail spaces market themselves directly to consumers, attempting to bring in as many as possible with experiential activations and interactive pop-ups. But 260 Sample Sale, a chain of discount storefronts, operates differently; it partners with brands to sell excess product at cheap prices, meaning that it's selling both its own space and the clothing and accessories inside.

260 has six locations—five in New York and one in Beverly Hills—where big-name brands anchor sample sales featuring deeply discounted merchandise. Each sale runs for about a week, most often from Tuesday to Sunday, and features a different brand. And despite the prices, 260 Sample Sale works with an incredible array of labels, including streetwear from Need Supply Co. and Totokaelo, designer digs from Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenberg, and skincare from Dr. Jart and Stila.

It's an arrangement that works well for both consumers, who are increasingly interested in both luxury and bargains, and the brands themselves, who get to sell excess items without sending their inventory to outlets.

Each space is unique and changes with its current sale, and PSFK visited the Wooster Street location in SoHo during the VFILES sample sale. Inside, racks were filled with hypebeast-friendly shirts, sweatpants and outerwear, with accessories and shoes in their own dedicated sections. Fitting rooms and walls were made of fabric partitions, giving 260 the ability to adapt on a moment's notice. The prices had just been slashed, their updated numbers written in red Sharpie on the walls.

The hangers are mismatched, the fixtures are modest and the vibe is delightfully lo-fi. Navigation is remarkably easy, and each associate and manager is friendly. Even without bells and whistles, 260 holds its own in some of the world's premier shopping destinations, like SoHo and Fifth Avenue.

260 works because it walks a line between no-frills retail and pop-up excess. The space is less pricy and intimidating than high-end stores and much less hectic and picked-over than an outlet or a discount chain. The result is an experience that feels like an antidote to other activations that tip into feeling too polished or planned. It's a reminder that retail can and should work for the consumer in different ways, and good merchandising is enough even in the absence of cutting-edge technology or experiential installations.

With a curated selection of vendors, a capable staff and spaces that are both good-looking and functional, 260 Sample Sale is operating a different kind of pop-up than consumers today might expect. Its success shows that the basics—low prices and time-saving design—are the key to drawing shoppers.

260 Sample Sale

Most retail spaces market themselves directly to consumers, attempting to bring in as many as possible with experiential activations and interactive pop-ups. But 260 Sample Sale, a chain of discount storefronts, operates differently; it partners with brands to sell excess product at cheap prices, meaning that it's selling both its own space and the clothing and accessories inside.

260 has six locations—five in New York and one in Beverly Hills—where big-name brands anchor sample sales featuring deeply discounted merchandise. Each sale runs for about a week, most often from Tuesday to Sunday, and features a different brand. And despite the prices, 260 Sample Sale works with an incredible array of labels, including streetwear from Need Supply Co. and Totokaelo, designer digs from Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenberg, and skincare from Dr. Jart and Stila.