Pop-Up Retail Proliferates As MarketingTrend
As marketers dig deeper and deeper into the bottom of the marketing barrel, pop-up retail has been adopted as the marketing trend du-jour.
From Crown Royal to Levis to Target, marketers are launching here today, gone tomorrow, fully branded retail stores. Located at 199 Lafayette at Cleveland Place in the Soho/Nolita district of lower Manhattan, Crown Royal, on October 15, launched The Crown Royal Barbershop. The location will offer free haircuts for a one month period and then close up shop for good. Open seven days a week, the Crown Royal Barbershop will feature local barbers, three chairs and a social area. The nearly 1,000 square feet of retail space is decorated in purple and gold, Crown Royals signature colors, and is open to consumers 21 years and older on a first come, first serve basis. On select evenings, the space will host private parties complete with cocktails and entertainment.
The Crown Royal Barbershop is the first creation for Location NYC, Inc., who provides the space for 30 day limited engagements to companies seeking to offer a special brand environment. Location is a new exciting media experience combining a street level billboard, interactive brand gallery, brand events, sampling and marketing opportunities.
Crown Royal is not alone in this trend towards engulfing the consumer with a brand experience. Many are in New York City, logically, because of its high population concentration and foot traffic. Recently, Levis partnered with alife, a hipster store in the Lower East Side, to create a location that sold brightly colored special edition Levis at $165 a pair. The store was open one month. Imitation of Christ, a cutting-edge fashion house, has created a portable, Plexiglas retail venue that sells just one item each day. According to visitors, one day it was a pair of antique glass eyeballs the next it was a $7,000 couture dress.
A pet food manufacturer, Wiskas, currently has a short-run store on Fifth and 41st. Target, a pop up retail veteran whose pop ups are called The Bullseye Inn, recently highlighted Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig's Swell designs (dishes, linens and bedding), Sean Conway's Garden Style and Rachel Ashwell's Simply Shabby Chic home goods. In May, J.C. Penny opened a 2,500 square foot retail space in Rockefeller Center which unveiled designer Chris Madden's home, bath and kitchen lines. And finally, Delta Air Lines' Song, last fall, opened a pop in Boston and in a Soho site in New York that had 50,000 visitors to the 2,700-square-foot store in six weeks.
One positive of this trend, for both consumer and marketer, is the trend's "choice" and "control" attributes, something more consumers are demanding and more marketers are capitalizing upon.