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A brilliant pop up failure ?


This story is kind of complicated, as it describes a pop up failure (or maybe it was a brilliant success…)

A couple of weeks ago I made the comment (weird and wonderful pop up shops) that “celebrity associations, a bit of controversy (sell-outs or lock-outs…) or just plain weirdness tend to increase the reach and popularity of a pop up project”. Often those are the things that social media will pick up on, and help to broadcast the pop up message (and that’s usually a good thing…)

But here’s an example of a celebrity (hmmm, maybe) and his (ill-conceived, short-lived) pop up experience. I’ll provide a little background first… if you live a relatively-sheltered Australian life (like me…) it’s probable that you haven’t heard of the FaZe Clan, Ricky Banks or his LOOse Change brand.

Ricky “Banks” Banks, aka FaZe Banks, was born Richard Bengston in Massachusetts USA, 25 years ago. His occupation is described as “YouTuber and vLogger”#. He has a significant on-line presence (1.3+million fans on Instagram, 1.5+million on Twitter) – and he is currently CEO of the FaZe Clan*. The FaZe Clan is a gaming group, highly successful in eSports (that’s online video gaming) – based in a mansion within the Hollywood Hills. On 24th September Banks launched his LOOse Change clothing label (via social media, of course) and announced a pop-up shop would open on Saturday 30th.

The pop up did open on Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles that Saturday… but attracted so much attention that the local police “shut down the road and surrounding area, and asked the store to be closed”*. Banks uploaded an explanation on his Insta site :

“If you don’t already know, the popup got shut down. The LAPD shut down the whole street, Melrose. Absolutely crazy, thousands of people showed up and I guess it just got so hectic.

For those of you guys who were in line and didn’t get a chance to come in, realistically there was no way we were going to get everyone in the room, there was literally thousands and thousands and thousands of people. There was only 1200 pieces total to begin with. I f***ing love you guys and I’m sorry.

The silver lining I guess is that there is going to be a lot of s**t available online for everyone who still couldn’t make it out, and the people who were still in line. It was just way too hectic, you just live and learn and stuff, I’m still trying to put the pieces together.”

A FaZe Banks Popup Store Closed article published last Monday, immediately after that failed Saturday. The author said “at the time of writing the LOOse Change website is still under construction” – but it does seem to be live today. That ‘site is pretty basic – shows just 9 products from the “Season 001” range (Shirts $80-$200, Hoodies $240, sweat shorts $80) – all those items are “Sold out”. There’s also a FAQ page, with no questions (only 4 lines of text) : “items will be shipped within 2 weeks of ordering”, “No Refunds”, “Contact support” (email supplied) and an Instagram address.

That pop up launch probably wasn’t much of a failure, it might’ve just been a brilliant success. The description of thousands of fans lining up at the store (but turned away ‘coz it was so popular) and the apology / expression of disappointment (and love !) from the brand would’ve done no harm at all… it probably took the label’s reputation to an immediate and extra-ordinary level of desire. If it reached only a fraction of FaZe Bank’s 3million-or-so social media fans it’s no wonder the eStore has sold out (and who wouldn’t want that, within a week of the launch ?)


# source : Banks

* source : Banks Popup Store Closed Down


LOOse Change popup LAPD shut down

LOOse Change pop up shutdown

FaZe Banks LOOse Change pop up shop


images : Ricky Banks LOOse Change pop up,

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