Pop-up stores: new events buzz on the way Heidi Klum’s old adage that, “in fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out,” has seldom been applied to the retail side of shopping – until now. The rise of the “pop-up shop” has emerged as a trend in shopping that, despite what its premise would suggest, has surprisingly maintained steadfast popularity. After all, fashion is arguably one of the most fickle and volatile industries out there, so it comes as no surprise that the stores that display its wares should come and go in the same manner. WHAT IS A POP STRORE AND WHAT IS IT FOR?
Between street marketing and traditional boutique, for a few days, few weeks, few months, or for an indefinite period, Pop-up stores are “ephemeral store” custom created for the brand or product showcase. More user-friendly and interactive than traditional stores, these stores play mainly with the atmosphere which must symbolize a product or brand identity. As the company says, “My Pop Up Store”, specializing in the creation of ephemeral stores, Pop-up stores enable companies or brands to “enjoy a seasonal, celebrate a big event, launch a new product or repositioning.
The idea is to highlight the world of a product, brand or business (traditional for the upgrade or new to anchor) through the store’s decor and activities that are proposed. Finally, like any fad, and as it is still an innovative practice in France, launching a pop-up store gives the company the status of a pioneering communication company at the forefront of the trend. It is an important asset for companies whose turnover is related to fashion, new technology or who need to prove they are “connected”.
THE FENOMENOUS Pop-up shops, temporary stores that have sprung up in shopping destinations worldwide, have a tendency to draw in huge crowds, buzzing with exclusivity and spontaneity. After all, who can deny the inner hipster in us just itching for items that only a few thousand will have the opportunity to own? Veritably, pop-up stores are glorified “One-of-a-Kind Shows,” in miniature. A few years ago, when cheap real estate was scarce, pop-up stores were a major investment for marketers.
Now temporary stores have emerged as a perfect solution for cash-strapped brands, commission-hungry brokers and landlords faced with a glut of commercial real-estate space. Brands are using these interim spaces as a means to create buzz, test new concepts or even evaluate a new neighborhood or city. While temporary stores first began popping up with some regularity in 2003, sky-high rents and a lack of available space made them a massive undertaking for brands. Now, in the midst of the recession, the shops are being viewed as a logical, and even inexpensive, marketing tool.
In the past few months, high-end brands including Hermes, Emilio Pucci and La Perla have embraced the pop-up-shop concept, as have Gap, Seven For All Mankind, Daffy’s and others. But it’s not just limited to fashion brands. Furniture designer Kenyan Lewis, wine bar MADCrush, chef Tom Colicchio, and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism have also jumped on the pop-up wagon. Though pop-up retail has established itself in the industry as “hip” and “cool,” it creates a frenzied experience and gives new meaning to the term “impulse shopping. There is a fine line between exclusive shopping and a hyped-up marketing stunt. Regardless of whether or not the pop-up shop will ever replace shopping at tried and true static outlets, these ad hoc retail installations are a mainstay for shopaholics and trend-hunters alike. “Opening up a pop-up store can generate a lot of buzz for the brand,” said Mike Kraus, retail adviser for AllBusiness. com. “In a media marketplace that’s fragmented, [brands] are trying to find interesting ways to reach the public. No matter who opens one and where it opens, media is covering it. Brushfire Marketing, which worked with the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism on the Jersey Shore Store, said the temporary shop garnered nearly $1 million in earned media. The agency said the store led to 46 broadcast segments and 21 print and online placements. On average, 1,000 visitors passed through the store each week and 500 pieces of collateral were handed out daily. ONE-ON-ONE MARKETING “It’s one-on-one marketing,” Mr. Leonardi said. “In a recession, when marketers are looking for alternatives, they need to ask how can they do something different, something maybe less expensive, something that’s not a long-term investment. People familiar with the real-estate business say that, today, landlords are much more likely to entertain temporary tenants. And in many cases, rents are significantly cheaper than they were just a year ago. Indeed, brands are finding availability in major cities such as New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris and Hong Kong, as well as smaller towns such as East Hampton, New York. “The rules of the game have changed,” Mr. Kraus said. “[Brands] are finding that they can jump into a space for a few months, and they’re not stuck with having to sign a five-year lease. Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail division at Prudential Douglas Elliman, said landlords are embracing the shops in part because it keeps activity on the street alive. If a street starts to become quiet, shoppers will move on to other areas and may not return, even when business picks up, she said. “Landlords love these shops. It gives them some income while they continue to search for and negotiate with permanent tenants. And in some cases, these temporary stores can become the permanent tenants,” she said. “[Brands] get to test retail or a new product line or format at a greatly reduced cost.
This is a win-win situation during a challenging retail time. ” Probably the hardest part of determining what pop-ups mean for regular retailers is the fact that they are so hard to classify – anything goes. For instance, sisters Caillianne, Samantha and Chloe Beckerman, designers of the label Beckerman , hosted a pop-up lounge event at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto earlier this month. The “Summer Lounge” is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a chance to sip drinks and enjoy music while perusing a curated selection of H&M’s upcoming summer collection.
Others prefer a smorgasbord of brands not readily available in the country; like Sauvage , which opened in Queen West’s Burroughes Building, offering handbags and accessories from labels that have never made their way to Toronto. We’ve even seen the emergence of restaurant pop-ups, with celebrity and notable chefs headlining – the designers of the foodie world. It’s the ultimate way for chefs to boost their personal brands, as young chef Matthew Sullivan did with his pop-up dinner series, Boxed. Even once-a-year-dinner-parties are gaining traction with celebrity chefs, in particular, the Banana Mafia.
If their moniker alone isn’t enough to sell you on the concept, these notable Toronto chefs, such as Nick Liu, Robbie Hojilla, Jeff Claudio and more, recently held their inaugural Asian Street Market party, which already has foodies’ tummies rumbling for next year’s event. BENEFITS While the lack of long term commitment is most appealing, there are also many other advantages to opening a pop up shop. For starters, it’s a great way to explore new neighborhoods, cities or even other states in an effort to test new markets for a permanent storefront.
Additionally, pop up shops offer multiple vendors a chance to display their products together, creating powerful merchandising opportunities that translate into sales. The benefits for retailers are unequivocal, especially for independent and lesser known designers. For one, only operating on a temporary basis means not having to fork out the cash for highly sought-after real estate in prime shopping areas – especially during slow months (because who wants to shop in January and February anyway? ). It’s our primal instinct to want the things we can’t have.
So it goes without saying that spontaneity, coupled with high-end designers and exclusive collections will have us throwing cash at retailers. For shopping and fashion purists, pop-ups represent the hunt. There’s nothing more satisfying than landing a piece from a designer who may not sell in your city (an all-too-familiar horror in Canada), and to rub elbows with the fashion industry’s noteworthy insiders. It’s becoming evident that the pop-up shop has to keep up and deliver on the hype and buzz (as well as chaos and frenzy).
The products themselves are only the beginning; celebrities, exclusive collections, lounges and parties certainly deliver on what they promise. The pop-up might represent a marketing agent’s wet dream, but we’re okay with that, since we get to reap the benefits too. TARGETED CONSUMER Pop-up store are particularly segmenting. They are intended for particular audiences, clearly defined and targeted. This is also the principle and interest of these ephemeral stores: address a potential target consumer using the codes it work.
As shown by several studies in recent months, the overall consumption (especially with the advent of the net) is currently moving towards a greater segmentation. Brands will increasingly specialize and products covering risk losing market share. In this economic and social individualization of consumption, Pop-up store targeted “communities” seem to be one appropriate response. In this it seems logical to predict yet beautiful days at this new marketing tool. Five Things to Consider Before Popping Up 1. Do your research.
Is the space empty because of a lack of foot traffic in the area or because of some issue with the property? Remember the space is vacant for a reason. 2. Don’t scrimp. Even though the space is temporary, you should budget for a build out that is in keeping with the brand’s image. 3. Get creative. As pop-ups become the norm, you’ll need more effort to attract attention. DJs, freebies, special events, celebrity appearances and contests keep the publicity rolling. 4. Don’t expect a profit. Pop-up stores are more about buzz than sales.
But the longer a store is open the more likely you’ll be profitable. 5. Take a chance. Try a new neighborhood, a new design, a new product, a new marketing tack. If it doesn’t work, it’s only temporary. That’s the beauty of a pop-up. EXEMPLES OF POP-UP STORE NICOLA FORMICHETTI The fashion icon Nicola Formichetti has created its own brand of haute couture. To inaugurate the launch of the brand, it was also decided to create a pop-up store named “Nicola’s” where he will present a retrospective of his work with his new creations to highlight its style, anchoring his mark an artistic universe.
For the event, Nicola Formichetti took to his blog, tumblr , and twitter account, an announcement of a contest to collaborate with him in the construction of it. The announcement brought architects and construction companies from all over the world, to present their ideas to the unorthodox Formichetti. Designer for Mugler, stylist for Lady GaGa and creative director for Uniqlo, MAC, Vogue Japan and V Magazine, Nicola Formichetti is unstoppable. Coinciding with fashion week, this new installation is only viewable for 2 weeks and is intended to fuse fashion and architecture to create a new creative space.
Gage/Clemenceau Architects, the winners from the BOFFO contest, a non profit organization that organized the contest for the temporary installation. The duo of architects has been working closely with Nicola, who decided them as winners, just by looking at the first page of their proposal. HERMES For the first time since its inception in 1837, Hermes have opened in May 14th 2012 its ephemeral boutique rue de Sevres in Paris. It is located in the same street as the main store. The pop up store, designed by Stephane Parmentier, is dedicated to Women shoes.
You can discover the exclusive shoes collection Spring-Summer 2012 and the upcoming Fall-Winter 2012/2013, designed by the creative director of the brand Pierre Hardy. This uncluttered space to house code 2012 evokes the theme “the time ahead. ” The shop now host the new Hermes Chinese brand Shang Xia. LOUIS VUITTON For the launch of a capsule collection Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama, Louis Vuitton rolls out seven pop-up shops worldwile. The pop-up outlets opened for one to two months, offering a range of spotted trench coats, handbags, and other accessories created with the artist for Louis Vuitton.
The European branches had also exclusively offer tentacle-festooned handbags two months ahead of their scheduled launch date. Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs must have been so taken with Kusama when she presented him with a customized a Louis Vuitton Ellipse bag during his first visit to her studio in 2006 that she should get special treatment. Out of the three other artists — Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, and Richard Prince — Jacobs selected to partner with the brand, Kusama is the only one to have multiple pop-up shops in her line’s honor.
GUERLAIN Prelude to expansion work of the 68 avenue Champs Elysees, Guerlain opened his own pop-up store, avant-garde space and interactive animation for several workshops in connection with home products. Aesthetics and mischievous daring decoration translate the codes and symbols emblematic of Guerlain in an atmosphere of total modernity. The decoration was designed by Patricia GROSDEMANGE, House Architect, in collaboration with artists and designers such as Nathalie Auzepy Catherine Square and Maryse Dugois-Guillope.
Each symbol (filter perfumers, honeycomb, flasks) was diverted to illustrate the ability of Guerlain maintain its history and tradition in the heart of the image while updating. A decoration which also democratize the brand prestige giving it a quirky and fun character. And the concept of pop-up store is extended into the workshops. At the entrance, the Art Box makes a point on Guerlain actuality and the newness. The Perfumers Workshop decorated with cones, bottles and raw materials, unveils Thierry Wasser’s creations, the nose of the house. Visitors can even consult an expert to help them choose the fragrance that suits them.