What’s in a word… what’s in the pop-up ?
The pop-up term might be a little over-used, but brands are still working hard on the concept.
The founder of UK-based “online marketplace for short-term retail spaces” Appear Here has been quoted in a FinancialTimes.com article recently, saying he hates the word ‘pop-up’ (but the FT doesn’t say why…) It does go on to quote Ross Bailey saying “no one talks about pop-up as a term any more. It’s a given, it’s expected… The idea of things that are here today and gone tomorrow, these have gained relevance in today’s society…”*
Appear Here’s Bailey is credited with creating a platform which “currently works with 200,000 brands and has launched more than 10,000 stores” Their website also quotes 10million+ sq.feet of space currently on offer across London, Paris and New York (and beyond…) All this has evolved in just a few years… Appear Here only launched in 2012.
Bailey is quoted as saying “that 2018 marked the first year where more pop-ups than new stores opened” (in the UK ?) – the FT article also links to a report of “pop-up shops now contributing £2.3 billion to the economy every year”# (…which is possibly a bit out of date, as those figures were published in August 2015…)
The FT report describes several note-worthy / creative / extreme pop-up installations, many using social media and on-line profiles to boost or under-pin their events. Nike recently “set up a stall in LA selling its newest trainers. To buy you had to be within a 100-metre radius and have downloaded a special app.”* US beauty group Milk Makeup “celebrated its highly anticipated entry into the UK market with a 48-hour pop-up in London…. To gain access to the queue fans entered a competition, and the first 100 names received free goodie-bags.”*
Also hailing from the US, make-up artist Pat McGrath “marked her European retail debut with a three-month residency” at Selfridges in London… Her beauty brand has “taken over the department store’s 24 windows and curated a space in which the counters are made of giant gold ingots and giant gold lips hang from the ceiling.”*
Kayne West sold another of his Yeezy ranges (“Holy Spirit” sweatshirts) at this year’s Coachella music and arts festival. West announced the sale at the festival “on his microphone” – which required shoppers to be at the event (and close enough to the tent space to shop). The merchandise “reportedly sold out within minutes.”*
Perhaps a bit more refined was the MatchesFashion travelling pop-up, hosted on an original 1930’s yacht which motored along the Italian Mediterranean coast last month – stopping in at various luxury hotels along the way. Guests (shoppers…) were welcomed aboard by creators of the “Italian Grand Tour” womenswear collection – and a “private shopping team”*
The “unstoppable rise of the temporary retail space…” (according to Ross Bailey) “comes down to the kudos of discovery… It’s hard to have a real moment today, so what do you want your customers to say when they leave ? You want them to say, ‘I was there, weren’t you ?”*
images: MarieClaire.com, YouTube.com, NewYorker.com, MatchesFashion.com, FinancialTimes.com
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