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Who’s doing pop up in Melbourne ?


There’s been a wide variety of pop up recently… and a healthy batch of new enquiries !


Melbourne has been quite busy with pop up shops for the first months of 2014 – and not just the typical fashion label offering up their older inventory (although that is still what we see the most of… ‘cos pop-up is perfect for quick & easy clothing sales !). There has also been a range of other installations – some of those are really interesting applications of the pop up model…

Over the past few months I’ve spoken to (or worked with) many businesses planning or opening their pop up. There’s been a load of fashion installations around Melbourne – mainly around the Fitzroy / Collingwood and South Yarra / Prahran areas, also Richmond and South Melbourne, further afield too… Nunawading, Ringwood, Moorabbin… and in the major shopping centres (especially the Westfields it seems). Some of those are single-day events, others are longer-term retail stores.

Our city has been busy with events and speciality shows – the Australian Open Tennis, Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, F1 Grand Prix, major expos for gifts, babies, fitness, weddings… they’ve all used temporary installations to attract visitors and support (or hang off) the main event.

Many installations are done “behind closed doors”, away from public attention – but they still fall into the pop up category… designed for an audience of trade buyers or professionals, brand experiences for on-line customers, product launches, or “family and friends” private showing and sale events…

We’re seeing more of the “collaborative” style of pop ups happening… where a group of complementary businesses will join efforts within a single space. Typically, a start-up fashion label may team up with say a designer of jewellery, accessories or eyewear… then throw in something un-expected such as unique homewares, an artist, florist, or nail salon… Participants generally benefit from the wider audience of fans and customers – but also from the experience of others. The collaborative model can be great for a low cost / low commitment entry into retail, sharing the energy and fees involved in setting up their store… also offering valuable lessons in sales, promotions and staffing – hopefully providing the experience and confidence for small businesses to grow.

And it’s not just minor brands offering a collaborative experience – Country Road recently hosted Tokyo Bike within two of their Melbourne stores, using a selection of cycling accessories to enhance a launch of their own menswear collection.

Many of the enquiries which come our way seem to start off with… “what sort of businesses host pop up shops, and where do they have them ?” That’s not just from media or agencies doing their research – the same questions are asked by nervous newbies… wondering if the pop-up model might be appropriate for their own humble enterprise. The short answer seems to be… “whatever you might dream for a temporary event, in whatever location your imagination can stretch to…” Pop up is all about creativity and spontaneity… not limited to conventional thinking or constraints. If you’ve dreamt it, pop up can probably deliver it !


Featured image : Pop up Melbourne – instant retail Pinterest

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