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A ho hum pop up…

 

They probably didn’t think they were doing a pop up shop (but why not ?)

A few weeks ago I heard of a store opening on Prahran’s Greville Street – a fashion sale coming in for a brief visit. There’s nothing unusual about that… many brands dream of the chance to open on the quirky and colourful shopping strip (even for a short time). But it seemed this business was keen to do things economically (and quietly ?) – they didn’t broadcast their event and didn’t go to much effort either…On a bright May morning they just opened the doors, and went outside to chat…

Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to a small clothing sale (unless of course they’re calling it a pop up, or at least applying some of the concept…) – but I happened to be nearby, and stopped to observe. The shop was in the middle of the Greville Street strip (one of several stores currently vacant), clean and well-positioned on the sunny side, amongst busy cafes.

Most of the businesses on Greville Street are open by 10am on a Saturday – ready to welcome customers with enticing displays, and keen to engage in friendly (sales) banter. That is, they present as professional retail stores.

But this little shop wasn’t ready by 10am… around an hour later it seemed they had finished setting up (a few clothing racks with an odd assortment of garments), a couple of plastic milk crates on the floor (?) – and a sign taped to the window. A bunch of people (friends ?) had gathered on the pavement outside, slouched over a car and drinking coffee. The guys hosting the sale came and went, stubbing out cigarettes if anyone ventured inside the store. Overall, it was not a good look.

I would’ve thought… for just a bit more effort… they could’ve (should’ve) created a better shopping experience. These guys had already invested time and money (I imagine they paid a reasonable rent to appear on Greville Street), but hadn’t made the most of it. The shop didn’t feel welcoming, it was bare. The presentation of product was random, the staff didn’t appear focused – and the bunch of mates hanging outside was a little intimidating. The shop front didn’t explain what was in the store, or invite a visit inside.

If I was a random shopper, out for a stroll along Greville Street that weekend… I probably wouldn’t have noticed that sale (and certainly wouldn’t feel curious to browse).

But perhaps it was a deliberate “protest” against slick retailing… a kind of anti-sales event (not intended to engage new customers) – and maybe they had promoted the event widely to their own audience (?) I don’t know… it just seemed like a wasted opportunity to me…

Leaning on car - splashanddashgreenville.com

image : Leaning on car – spalshanddashgreenville.com

 

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