While the rise of technology might have made purchasing economical and convenient, but it will never replace the face-to-face service offered by immersive in-person shopping experiences. Pop-Up shops offer brands a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a human level and build a network of loyal and engaged shoppers. Over the coming pages RLI takes a look at a selection of unique examples from around the globe.
Nicholas Moore’s article ‘What is a pop-up shop? Everything you need to know to try short-term retail’ explains that whilst the concept of temporary retail spaces has been around for centuries, the term ‘pop-up’ retail can be traced back to the late 90s when media entrepreneur Patrick Courrielche ran an event called The Ritual Expo in Los Angeles in 1997. It was a one day event that brought together music, food and fashion in a single shopping experience. Nicknamed the one day “Ultimate Hipster Mall”, it was hugely successful with its mix of retail stores and experiences.
He continues by saying that over the next 20 years the modern pop up retail store as we know it evolved. In the face of the so-called ‘retail apocalypse’ and the decline of the traditional retail model, flexible retail and pop-up stores have come to the fore.
The pop-up shop is no longer just a retail trend. It has become a staple part of many a retail strategy. From new brands looking to build a name to the already established and even luxury brands, it seems no area of the retail industry is untouched by the pop-up. At the heart of it, the success of the pop-up format comes from its impermanent nature, according to Cate Trotter in their article ‘Retail Industry Trends: The Power of the Pop-Up Shop’.
The article goes on to say that pop-ups are retail sites that are usually only open for a short period of time, this can range from just one day to many months or even a year, but they have become a way for brands to keep shopping areas fresh and more vibrant and it can even act as a beneficial form of experiential marketing, as well as to test new ideas and locations.
Launched last year and open until May this year, architecture studio OMA created a pop-up shop for Tiffany & Co. that showcased an assortment of pieces from the jeweller’s 185-year history. The pop-up was located in the eighth arrondissement and functioned as a cross between a boutique and an exhibition, spotlighting Tiffany pieces from both past and present. Upon entering the store, visitors walked into a deep-blue rotunda where Tiffany & Co. showcased some of its archival jewellery designs. The pieces were presented within wall niches or inside pyramidal glass cases that sat on chunky plinths. Tall screens displayed blown-up imagery of the designs so visitors could take a look at their finer details.
In August last year, It’Sugar opened the doors to its two-storey, 20,335sq ft flagship pop-up store on 42nd Avenue in the heart of Times Square. Described as a “candy department store” by Justin Clinger, It’Sugar’s Director of Design, Licensing and Marketing, the trendy candy store features an array of innovative sweets, novelty gifts and giant candy treats. Upon entering the store, shoppers are greeted by a colourful homage to New York City: a lollipop garden comprised of more than 1,000 lollipops, a bubble-gum-blowing Statue of Liberty and a “Big Apple” made out of 1 million jelly beans. Unlike its permanent sister location across the river at East Rutherford, N.J.’s American Dream Mall, Times Square’s It’Sugar pop-up store will only be in town for a short time. Most It’Sugar pop-up locations generally have lease terms ranging from 13 to 36 months, according to the company.
Back in July, Tatcha’s Forest Awakening pop-up, developed in harmony with exclusive retail partner Space NK arrived in Covent Garden to celebrate the launch of Tatcha’s new Forest Awakening Body Collection. The pop-up ran from 7 – 16 July and the one-of-a-kind, immersive greenhouse escape was nestled amid the busy streets of London. Situated in the heart of London’s bustling beauty destination, Covent Garden, the ten-day residency aimed to help consumers ease stress, improve their mood and calm the mind. Guests entered through the Garden of Tranquillity, where they could take a moment to relax and reset before beginning a 4D Forest Bathing meditation, guided by Japanese Zen monk and Tatcha Well-Being Ambassador, Toryo Ito. This immersive experience blended the visuals of the forest with the calming scents of nature to transport guests to the celebrated hinoki forests of Japan.
Beauty brand Trinny London has expanded its retail offering by opening two new pop-ups in Australia. The company’s latest pop-up store has opened in Perth’s Karrinyup Shopping Centre while another opened in Sydney’s Westfield Warringah Mall. The brand already operates permanent concessions at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction and Westfield Doncaster in Melbourne. Customers can either book appointments in-store to consult with the brand’s pro-make-up artists or drop in to browse. The cost of the in-store appointments is redeemable against any products bought on the day.
Back in June, in honour of Fendi’s Astrology Capsule, a swim and beachwear collection created for every star sign under the sun, the Italian fashion house took over the Jewel Court of South Coast Plaza, the shopping destination in California Costa Mesa. The red and white stripes that characterised this celestial collection covered the surrounding balustrades and a Fendi script, introduced a circular installation placed at the centre of the Court to embrace the astrological prints of the Fendi Summer Capsule. The space featured an immersive and interactive astrology-themed video booth that created a tailored digital animation: after selecting one’s astrological sign, a custom video showing the visitor in a starry sky was shown and was then ready to be shared on social media. Drawing on iconic collections from the House’s archives, Spring/Summer 1990 and Spring/Summer 1993, alongside key codes established by Artistic Director Kim Jones, the Astrology Summer Capsule was a reflection of Fendi’s past and present.
Meanwhile French luxury brand Celine had a pop-up shop operating at the Galaxy Macau Integrated Resort in Macau from 14 – 30 July. Located inside the Opal Lobby at the Galaxy Promenade, the Celine pop-up, dubbed ‘Plein Soleil’, was inspired by the French Riviera and Parisian suburb, Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Inside, shoppers found Celine’s duly named 2023 Plein Soleil capsule collection, designed by the brand’s Creative Director, Hedi Slimane. It featured leather goods, ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories and maison Celine pieces, including deck chairs, hammocks, and beach racket sets, all printed with the signature Celine logo. Guests could also choose from a variety of limited-time exclusive styles and unique shopping bags. In addition, the Celine Plein Soleil capsule introduced a range of summer items exclusively available at Galaxy Promenade, including the Celine Classic Panier Hobo Bag in raffia and calfskin, Round Triomphe Minaudière in Wicker and Calfskin, Teen Drawstring in Raffia and Calfskin, as well as suede sandals, printed canvas sandals, sunglasses, and accessories.
Throughout July, a Tory Burch pop-up shop operated at Aventura Mall. The Miami space in the US, which embodied the hazy hues of the Southern city, featured the iconic T Monogram collection in an attractive mixture of shoes, accessories and handbags. Visitors were also able to uncover the latest Ella Bio, a tote released every season in collector’s edition prints, along with the label’s classic sandals, eyelet midi dresses and raffia mules.
Last month the Melbourne-based fragrance brand Flâner ran a pop-up in Fitzroy, Victoria. The store boasted five non-gendered eau de parfums, which came in floral, wood, fresh and gourmand options, and a scented candle product made from olive wax called Firenze Leather. Each scent was named after a major ingredient or note used and is paired with an “urban story” it represents. The perfumes are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and free from parabens and phthalates. Flâner is a French word that means the “leisurely art of strolling through cities without a goal or destination” and the pop-up was located at 195 Gertrude St and ran until 27 August.
Marking the start of summer, La Réserve à la Plage beach club, Saint-Tropez’s exclusive destination, reopened with a new luxurious feel by Loro Piana. Known as a haven of luxury and refinement nestled along the shores of the French Riviera, the beach club offered an unparalleled beachside experience that captures the glamorous essence of Saint-Tropez. This summer, Loro Piana infused its exquisite Italian craftsmanship and use of the world’s finest materials into the beach club, creating an Italian paradise on the French coast. Loro Piana redefined beachside living with its signature colours and patterns in the Loro Piana Interiors outdoor fabrics, like the Suitcase Stripe multi-striped motif, featured on the parasols, beach towels, ‘brise vue’ — and at the bar-restaurant. The boutique was home to Loro Piana summer must-haves like the Baseball Hat, straw hats, swimsuits, handmade linen beach bags, Suitcase Stripe-themed beach rackets, the Extra Pocket Bag and the Blossom Bag — the new shopper and iconic item for the season.
This summer, Valentino has collaborated with Palazzo Avino – the iconic Ravello hotel housed in a 12th-century villa – on an extensive summertime pop-up in Italy. There was a boutique on the resort grounds stocked with the brands “Escape” 2023 capsule collection (think a curated selection of caftans, mini-dresses, and beachwear.) But the two entities took it one step further with a complete refresh of the Palazzo’s beach club in nearby Marmorata, called the Clubhouse by the Sea. There were 1950s-esque scarlet umbrellas and sun loungers with the instantly recognisable “V” logo. A changing room was also adorned with similar-shaded stripes, whereas life rafts come in a classic combination of red and white. The interior fabrics of the hotel’s Riva speedboat, too, were updated to match.
Dior has taken over the famed Beverly Hills Hotel in California, US, in commemoration of the new Dioriviera capsule. Open until 4 September, the Dioriviera experience is on Sunset Boulevard. The pop-up has initiated a takeover of the famed location in celebration of the Dioriviera collection. In fact, the Beverly Hills Hotel edition is actually one of multiple similar experiences slated to bring the capsule to life across the world. The boutique aspect of the pop-up is positioned parallel to what’s billed as the “ultimate Dior hangout haven,” which invites guests of the hotel to spend some time in an upscale state of relaxation in a distinctly Californian manner.
Ladurée and Burlington Arcade have revealed an exclusive garden-style ice cream concept and experience. Positioned in the heart of Burlington Arcade, the summer garden combines Ladurée’s beautiful pastel-coloured vintage ice cream cart and garden style, designed to be an exclusive elegant place to enjoy Ladurée’s divine ice cream creations. Open from 7 August to 24 September and designed and produced by Malachite Studio, the concept was born from the desire to create an immersive and inviting floral space within Burlington Arcade, with inspiration drawn from Jardin des Tuileries of Paris, but with an important London edge. The Laduree x Burlington Summer Garden was imagined by Alexander Gower, Founder of Malachite Studio who worked closely with Rebel Rebel, the East London Floristry duo Mariead & Athena, to craft the Floral escape.
Chanel inaugurated a seasonal boutique in the heart of the luxury shopping destination, Nammos Village, on Mykonos Island. Spanning two floors and 140sq m, the boutique echoes the traditional Cycladic architecture. The convivial holiday mood and an easy transition from an outdoor lifestyle play out in the interior design mingle a fresh palette of white and neutrals with warm textile accents. On the ground floor an array of new-season handbags and shoes are on display, along with sunglasses and a selection of watches and fine jewellery that highlight an eye-catching showcase of the CHANEL COCO BEACH 2023 collection. This season, the CHANEL COCO BEACH collection proposes a playful remix of American sport and resort wear codes alongside brightly hued, modern swimwear. The latest Chanel collections will be available in-store, starting with the sophisticated Spring-Summer 2023 Ready-to-Wear collection, then CHANEL – Dakar 2022/23 Métiers d’art collection and finally, the Fall-Winter 2022/23 pre-collection. The Chanel seasonal boutique in Mykonos runs from 30 May to 30 September.
As part of ‘Carnaby in Colour’, Carnaby Street is welcoming a vibrant and immersive experience this month, in partnership with artist Kris Andrew Small. Located at 57 Carnaby Street, the eye-catching space which has been designed by Kris Andrew Small, features a bright floor to ceiling wrap-around artwork and will offer limited edition prints and apparel for sale. Plus, there will be a line-up of workshops, including screen printing with People of Print, Live LDN Painting and a panel talk. The installation will be centred around the message of ‘Be Human’ encouraging visitors to experience life in all its colours and potential. This unique pop-up launched on 29 August and will run until 27 September.
Designed to look like a home you would spend your Italian summer in, the seasonal pop-up Chopard boutique is located in the heart of Porto Cervo in the Piazzetta in Italy. Open until October, clients can shop a wide range of Chopard jewellery, though the central focus of the boutique is on the newest haute joaillerie Red Carpet Collection presented at the Cannes Film Festival.
Brad & Holly Carter have officially launched the Carters pop-up in one of Westlands UK’s glasshouses, one of the restaurant’s key suppliers in Evesham, close to Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds. Surrounded by living herbs, flowers and fauna, guests can enjoy a unique eight servings inspired by the area’s natural bounty and Carter’s ethos of ‘ultra-British seasonality’. As a family-owned, multi-generational business headed up by Managing Director Will Boers, Westlands UK operate as a team, with a thoughtful approach at every step of the growing process. The pop-up will operate until Carters relocates permanently next year.
American luxury brand Coach has unveiled a new immersive retail concept store in a converted Boeing 747 aircraft which brings a whole new meaning of flying coach and the retail concept is situated at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet in Malacca, Malaysia. Dubbed ‘Coach Airways,’ the outlet pop-up store and cafe were built inside a real 1981 Boeing 747-230B aircraft and customers are given an entry pass resembling an air ticket to browse the store, which features Coach’s all-gender ready-to-wear, bags and travel accessories. The plane is also equipped with a welcoming area, an immersive gallery, and a contemporary café, providing guests with a space to relax and drink refreshments while enjoying the immersive retail experience. Coined the “Queen of the Skies”, the plane is more than 231ft long with a wingspan of around 195ft and it took two years to convert into a fully decked-out store. Launched back in June, the intention is for the store to be there until the end of the year.