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DENVER – Consider this: Shopping local for the holidays helps support small businesses and your tax dollars stay here. There’s also the charm of buying in a pop-up holiday market where they offer hot chocolate, adult beverages and good food.
Denver’s Fetch Holiday Market is also activating an otherwise dark, dreary and empty big box store.
“This is our third holiday market in the Sports Castle," said Fetch founder, Blake Adams. “We were actually one of the first groups after Sports Authority left to start popping up in this space.”
Hundreds of vendors are wheeling out products as part of Fetch.
From tank tops to caps, beanies to coffees and cards - every booth, every vendor offers unique, one-of-a-kind gifts.
"And then, you've got a story," Adams said. “You’re a champion gift-giver. You can tell the recipient of the person that created the gift, of the person behind the company."
Vendors like Kate Kellogg, who launched Colorado-based Cardamom Designs after living in India for a year.
“I took a block printing workshop just for my own enjoyment and fell in love with it," Kellogg said.
Now, she works with wood-block printers in India to produce original textile designs.
“I have table runners, napkins, cushion covers, scarves," Kellogg said. “I really love working with the block printers in India."
The Fetch Market is a direct reflection of the evolving tastes of shoppers, in particular millennials.
As the 2010s come to an end, it was a decade of extreme retail innovation.
Some of the big box stores that didn't make it this decade include Blockbuster, Payless Shoes, American Apparel and Denver-based Sports Authority.
Others having a hard time adapting including JC Penny and Sears. Their decade-long decline in revenues paint a vivid picture of the big box struggle to compete in the new digital and pop-up marketplace.
Adams says pop-ups provide something neither big box or online giant Amazon can provide: an experience.
"There is no experience with online retail, other than the absolute ease of doing it," Adams said. “We really want people to hang out. Talk to the people that are making the products behind the brands."
“I love the energy of being around all these creative people,” Kellogg said.
Fetch Holiday Market at the Sports Castle at 1000 Broadway:
Friday, Dec. 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The entry fee is $5.