A great retail experience has just hit Sydney in time for Christmas.

Over the past week, Sydney has attracted The Cool House, designed by the Cool Hunter, and The Minimalist, which outside the festive season, is an online store based in Surry Hills. Both popups have jumped from the computer to the street and are a must visit for great gift ideas. Other popups can be found all over the city and I went to the newest one earlier this week – but more on that later.

What’s most interesting is that these popups have digital roots but are bucking the online trend for the lead up to Christmas. Does this mean we, as consumers of experience and culture, are happy to risk the craziness of festive shopping and buy on street?

While I write this article, more and more Australians are choosing to shop online. Last weekend was even coined ‘Super Sunday’ in recognition of our growing online shopping habits. It appears, searching the world for the best price (cheapest), regardless of product history (location), and in comfort (in front of the TV) is just too attractive for some.

While it appears we are spending big online, the shadow story is one of localisation. That’s where these popups come in. I recently attended the launch of Sydney’s newest popup, Real Food, that promotes local and fresh produce and connects the customer to the buyer, marketing experience and building awareness of the ‘background story’. The popup is the brain child of Matt Branagan and Kate Walsh, a strong advocate of eating local, fresh and healthy, and with a large portfolio of international work on the issue. Some products to check out include rose petal jelly, local honey, Bondi shortbread and pavlova marshmallows. Real Food is open till Christmas and located at 118 Oxford Street Darlinghurst.

Here are some images from the Real Food popup >