Secretive, exclusive and blink-and-you-miss-them, pop-up stores are the mystery we’ve all been searching for to reignite our love of retail. My work colleague is a pop-up addict. It doesn’t matter what they’re selling, simply marketing the event as “pop-up” has already grabbed her 25 year old millennial attention. But she’s not the only one keen to explore the phenomenon further. What is it about the marketing concept that has us all so excited? Why is it that everything in life is better in pop-up form?
Hailed as the future of shopping, this has been the decade of the pop-up round the globe. Breathing new life and excitement into real-life retail experiences, pop-ups are the saviour of the high street. Their wide appeal comes from the short-term nature of the event. As quickly as it’s popped up, so will it disappear so come and get a look whilst you can! They are limited, exclusive and hold the promise of a bargain before you even know the price. You want to feel part of a well-kept secret, to experience the surprise of the unexpected.
Pop-ups are temporary stores which exist to satisfy a short-lived demand, maybe a trend or seasonal product. But they can also be a great way to test out a business idea, or perhaps a certain location without the long term commitment of renting. With so many retailers turning to the internet for their sales and vacating store fronts, pop-ups could be the answer to bringing character and life back to our streets. Their popularity has become so great, that companies have even been formed, dedicated entirely to coordinating pop-ups in disused spaces.
More than a shop, a pop-up is all about creating that special experience and relating that back to the brand. Big brands often create pop-ups not for the sales, but to create hype and that wow factor. Hermes opened a silk store inside a shipping container in Hong Kong, whilst Reebok could be found for one month only at New York’s CVZ Art Gallery. Brands are popping up inside other retailers stores in collaboration, whilst coffee shops are popping up in tents, carts, vans, everywhere! It’s all about letting you have that memorable, photographic shopping moment that will appeal to our inner instagrammer.
After giving up a retail space in Jersey in favour of online sales, Luella Rockafella opened a pop up in LA over the Christmas period, to embrace their growing stateside customers. Owner Lauren Burnett explains, “pop-ups shouldn’t be done with profit solely in mind, we look to use these to test a demographic and to raise brand awareness. Gaining recognition in prime real estate areas such as Melrose Avenue helps to strengthen our brand and ultimately drives traffic to our website too.”
Alongside Luella Rockafella we have seen quite a few pop-ups locally over the past year. Locke's coffee cart has popped up in Queen Street to tantalise us with their coffee before their cafe is finished, whilst L’Atelier Pop-Up with their fabulous home interior collection came and went in Hackett Place.
Jennifer Moore is constantly popping up on beaches for yoga classes, and Uba Studio supported local artists by holding a Christmas pop up. The latest pop-up to catch our eye is Pizza Projekt in Market Street, where keeping things simple delivers big flavour.
I'm looking forward to a 2018 full of exciting pop-ups on our Island. Pop-up restaurants, beach bars and please more fun and fabulous retail units! Who else loves a good pop-up and what would you most like to see?