The Pop Up Method

07 Oct 2004|Added Value

“Pop Up” shops, those temporary retail stores that last a season at best, have been around for a while. Think mall Christmas store that suddenly appears around Halloween and vanishes by New Years. But brands of all kinds are now really running with this idea, and at least from the buzz they’re getting, it’s working.

Last night I went to the opening of Method’s new pop up store in Union Square. It was a mob scene. I’m sure the free wine and cheese had something to do with that, but people were buying stuff too… and a lot of it. The products are great, but you have to wonder what kind of world we live in when you see people standing at the register with a shopping basket brimming with designer cleaning products – we’re talking dish soap and laundry detergent. OK, I have to admit that I walked home with an armful of product too (I was told Karim Rashid hand soap makes a great gift).

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Per the company’s mantra, “People against dirty” the space was clean and beautifully organized. I couldn’t get over the fact that its shelves were stocked with such a narrow category until I realized that in the store’s previous incarnation just a few months before, it had held nothing but scotch whisky and was attended by men in kilts.

Other pop up stores abound. At the recent AIGA Gain conference I attended in NY, Minda Grainek from Target talked about the success of the company’s recent pop up store in the Hampton’s.

Given the uncertainty of the economy and well, life in general nowadays, the appeal of short-term commitment is strong. And as advertising becomes increasingly less effective, what better way to expose a brand. It’s not hard to see how pop up retail can flourish in this environment.

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