When Sobeys Vintage Clothing was looking to open its first store in Wales in 2016, there was no question about where the location should be. “Cardiff’s Arcades are unique and full of independent stores, we knew we had to be here,” explains Store Manager, Hannah Kelly.
Owner Andy Evans discovered the exact location by chance, when he noticed the store for let in the background of a friend’s photograph, “I hadn’t been into Cardiff in many years, so I had to find out which Arcade it was as it was so familiar,” he explained, “Then I remembered going into stores like Woodies and Robert Barkers, and when I went to view the whole feel and atmosphere was the same.”
Specialising in vintage, re-worked and vintage inspired items, Sobeys’ love of clothes is obvious. “Sobeys is for people who like to buy fashionable clothes, most but not all just happen to be vintage or reworked but with enough care and attention this won’t be apparent,” says Andy. From 60s inspired paisley shirts, through to corduroy dungaree dresses and vintage Levi’s, they specialise in good quality clothing that is kept on-trend through weekly deliveries. “We have a really loyal customer base, some people come in two or three times a week to see what new items we have,” continues Hannah. Andy agrees, adding, “We try to be a store where if you are on your second visit you will probably be on first name terms with the people who work there.”
What is it that makes the Arcades so special? Hannah explains, “For the customer, they’re really close together and easy to navigate, making it accessible for people looking for something different. The other stores are also a fantastically supportive community. If a customer can’t find something here, we often recommend they go to the incredible Prince and Pauper or Hobos, in Castle and High Street Arcade, and they send customers to us too.”
“Cardiff is lucky to have this gem right in the centre of the city,” adds Andy, “And in years to come the arcades will still be thriving no matter how the city changes (and they always do) and people will remember why they started going to the arcades.”