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our comment on the NYTimes article how a pop-up store pops up


how to pop up in New York (or Melbourne ?)


Here at popUPshopsMelbourne we pride ourselves on posting original and creative articles on the pop up scene around Melbourne (and beyond…) – quoting directly from our sources and providing insight based on local / practical experience… But occasionally we come across a resource that is just spot-on with their own commentary, and we’d like to share it with you !

Last week we came across an article published at, telling the story behind a pop up shop currently open in the SoHo district of New York City – for the Dockers brand by Levi Strauss & Co. There’s nothing unusual about a pop up store in New York – the City certainly hosts its share of clever temporary installations. In fact, much of the movement behind the growth of pop up retail has come out of / is still developing from NYC. New York businesses such as Pop Up Insider, MKG and The Storefront continue to lead the way in the application of pop up solutions…

You can read the full NYTimes article here. It provides interesting background on why a brand such as Dockers would embark on a pop up strategy… seems the khaki pants had been around for 25 years or so, reached its peak (in retail sales) 20 years ago and had since become associated with an older-age audience. Two years ago Dockers engaged marketing agency MKG to re-invigorate the brand and launch its appeal to a younger demographic…

They started by introducing a new cut of the pants in a range of funky modern colours – and took their message out on the road (literally). Earlier this year an Airstream bus was fitted out as a mobile store, popping up in 3 major cities for 3 weeks at a time. These “Wear the Pants” visits were promoted via campaigns with GQ magazine, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And then, as the article says… “it was time for New York…”

The head of MKG talks about the how and why of doing the Dockers pop up – “for a style to penetrate it has to be in New York… there’s no better way to get people to try them on than a pop-up store…” Maneesh K. Goyal (of MKG) describes why SoHo was chosen – for its art, fashion and good foot traffic  – “if you can’t find a grand-prize location, don’t do a pop up…”. On the timing – “if you’re an apparel company looking to make a splash in New York, you might want to open during Fashion Week, when people are clothing-crazed”. And he says the time to look … “a month before a pop up September location… is late July or early August”.

The Dockers store (now open, till 27th September) offers pants in 10 unique colours – custom dyed to order and sent directly to the purchaser. Other attractions to the pop up include free haircuts, coffee – and tattoos !

Okay, so this is the story of a major brand in a major marketplace… but the message could be the same for humble brands and smaller markets… For anyone starting their own venture into temporary retail, I suggest you consider the Dockers / MKG strategy… in their style / implementation of the pop up, and consideration of location / timing… Those “basics” will be pretty much the same for most pop up applications…


Featured image : Dockers by Levi Strauss & Co


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