Examples of pop-up retail in the UK
1) Test marketing in Covent Garden, one of the UK’s most popular shopping destinations:
• Chanel: Launched a six-month boutique at the start of London 2012.
• Tom’s Shoes: US brand tests UK shop in Seven Dials.
• Private White VC: Manchester men’s brand opens second retail store.
2) Protecting/revitalising historic property:
• The Gin Garden showcases The National Trust’s Fenton House in Hampstead.
• The Midnight Apothecary highlights the Brunel Museum’s campaign to turn a historic vault from London’s Thames Tunnel into a concert hall.
3) Community economic development and social sustainability:
• StartUp Britain’s PopUp Britain is a scalable template for enabling local entrepreneurs.
4) Brick-and-mortar brand building:
• Independent watch company Uniform Wares moves from a featured spot at the Dezeen Watchstore shop to Uniform Wares brand shop for the London Design Festival.
• Corrections rehabilitation charity Fine Cell Work’s shop in Mayfair brings puts skilled-labour products into shopper’s hands.
Worldwide examples of pop-up retail
5) Marketing campaigns to deliver real-world, immersive consumer experiences:
• Bob Dylan ‘Tempest’ stores (London, Berlin, NYC, LA)
• Michael Chambon’s ‘Telegraph Avenue’ record shop (Oakland, California)
• Mumford and Sons’ General Store (Sydney)
6) Small and large business alike achieve new levels of community and customer engagement:
• Odd Future x Colette (Paris)
• The Junkyard (Beirut)
• Puma Yard (London)
• Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop (Delhi)
7) In NYC, several campaigns are using pop-up shop concepts for social service delivery:
• Barbershop x Health centre in Harlem
• School registration centres
8) Pop-up hotels, “the most extreme example of the pop-up phenomenon” (Travel and Leisure), testing the boundaries of unique consumer experiences.
• AirBNB’s designer ‘Picks’
• Design Hotels Project: San Giorgio, Mykonos
• Nikki Beach and Target boutique hotels at the Toronto International Film Festival
Growing awareness of pop-up retail
Pop-up retail is receiving increasing amounts of press coverage as it moves into industry and mainstream consumer consciousness. Whilst major cities lead the way – like Berlin, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco – there’s activity from Ayers Rock, Australia to Zurich, Switzerland. Further, there is heavy interest from the travel industry as pop-up destinations are often hyperlocal experience.
• Rise of the Pop-Up Shop – Travel and Leisure (October 2012)
• Pop-up Shops Go Mainstream – Wall Street Journal (September 2012)
• New York’s 8 Best Food Trucks – Zagat (August 2012)
• World’s Best Pop Up Restaurants – American Express: Departures (July/August 2012)
• 10 of the best London pop-ups – British Airways High Life (July 2012)
We Are Pop Up has sparked interest from a variety of sources: from independent proprietors to multinational brands, and from local councils to NGOs and national government. The question is no longer if pop-up retail will emerge as a significant force, but when it will reshape the global retail industry.
Based on both the drivers mentioned in State of UK Retail, as well as the growing body of Examples, pop-up retail is gathering steam. Current property models are broken and fail to sufficiently address the needs of the short-term retail category. The future will be very interesting.
“All journeys begin from identifying opportunities”