Pop-Up Strategies To Dominate

Hermesmatic Workshop, Fendi Beach Club, Solebox x Adidas Handball Spezial and more; Pop-ups will be a crucial segment for the retail industry.


09 July, 2024

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As the experience economy is estimated to reach $2,1 trillion by 2031, and the bleisure (describes the travel that blends business with leisure) and virtual nomadic lifestyle are rising, retailers are getting a new way to invest in temporary spaces that connect retail, leisure, entertainment, and hospitality together. Around 42% of the consumers in LATAM, NAM, and Europe are reportedly spending more on experiences rather than buying physical products. 61% of the Gen Z and millennial audiences in the US are investing in lifetime experience instead of retirement. The total market value of pop-ups has been forecasted to touch $95 billion by 2025.

Let’s have a look at the strategies that can help brands and retailers to engage their consumers in 2024.

Accessible Exclusivity

Today’s consumers are already facing inflation and polycrisis. Therefore, it would be the brand or retailer’s responsibility to provide premium experiences that are accessible and tangible for all consumers. They must showcase a luxury paradox by changing their usual course into something inclusive.

Pop-ups can act as the medium for luxury democratization that creates visibility, fun, and excitement. The companies have to host pop-ups that amalgamate everyday routines in a romanticized and elevated way. They have to celebrate the little and mundane moments that consumers usually avoid. Here, the luxury brands collaborate, curate, and innovate unique bespoke experiences with companies from other industries too.

Hermes opened a pop-up kiosk at Azabudai Hills Central Square, Tokyo that encourages live music, perfume workshops, and table games while hanging out and spending time relaxing. Zara launched a two-day cafe pop-up in its store at Piraeus Tower, Athens with local cuisine and a coffee station powered by Wozere Studio. Fendi collaborated with Heytea to unveil an outdoor tea room as a pop-up in Beijing, featuring yellow cushions as a tribute to its signature color palette. Prada partnered with Luna Luna to open a carnival-style nightclub temporarily. Solebox teamed up with Adidas to host a pop-up event for its Paris Store. They took over the café Fringe and refurbished and rebranded it with yellow patterns of the forthcoming Solebox x Adidas Handball Spezial.

Resort and Sports Tourism

The increase in leisure travel and nomadic lifestyle has paved the way for pop-ups that include hospitality. The worldwide travel and tourism market is estimated to reach $1,063 billion by 2028. Therefore, this allows the brands and retailers on hospitality.

The pop-ups can be designed in a way that provides escapism from the real world. It should include dopamine-bright adventure, exploration, leisure, and fun activities. The brands can restart their beach club hostings for leisure tourism in hotspots such as Saint Tropez in France and Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Jacquemus is investing in resort pop-ups, beach clubs, and boutiques with limited-edition beachwear collections in places such as Saint Tropez along with daily restaurants and cafes. Fendi had its Fendi Beach Club inspired by the 90s theme surfing culture at Puente Romano Beach Resort in Marbella, Spain. Max Mara partnered with Bridgehampton in New York to unveil a resort takeover with features including gelato and rosé bars, and poolside dining. Dior launched its 2024 resort collection with seven resort pop-ups combined with its Dioriviera beach collection at several European coastlines.

Off-White took over Spain’s Casa Jondal to set an immersive experience, called “Imaginary Island,” with customized design and decor as well as a pop-up store to launch its summer capsule collection. Fendi collaborated with Puente Romano Beach Resort in Marbella to provide its first-ever gastronomic experience by completely taking over La Plaza and remodeling with the brand palette and aesthetics. Louis Vuitton has brought back the neo-gastronomic experience of chef duo Arnaud Donckele and Maxime Frédéric with its restaurant present in the White 1921 Hotel, Saint Tropez.

France is witnessing a boom in tourism due to the 2024 Olympic Games. This leads to a potential sports event tourism to look forward to for the brands and retailers. Acqua di Parma has set up a pop-up boutique in Place des Lices, Saint Tropez, selling various creations including Pétanque throwing ball sets. AMI Paris has occupied Galeries Lafayette Haussmann to introduce La Cabane AMI, a chic French experience featuring crêperie and an ice cream parlor with a relaxing roof.

Wimbledon is another popular example of sports event-based tourism. The game has fans around the world with 532,6K guests during the fortnight in 2023 and a total of 54,3 million views on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online. Ralph Lauren has a suite at Wimbledon that encourages afternoon tea and sandwiches with a lot of tennis talk. The suite features branded tableware, decor, and furniture.

Artisanal Workshops & Movable Spaces

Letting the audience indulge in the designing and creating process is another way of providing an experience. Brands and retailers can conduct pop-ups with workshops and programs that let the consumers work on their own products with an artistic touch. Hermes organized Hermesmatic Workshop which acts as a complimentary service that lets the customers update their vintage scarves through dip-dying and washing machines.

The temporary pop-ups can also include flexible retailing and services to test the approach on new audiences with minimal risk and to analyze the consumers’ changing mindsets. Aesop incorporated modular fixtures created from recovered wood and fibers to open a sustainable pop-up in China. L.L.Bean released L.L.Bean Bootmobile, a traveling pop-up that brought the brand universe across America.

Fendi introduced the Fendi Baguette created in partnership with Made For A Woman, an artisanal label in Madagascar. It involved the women working on the bag featuring the traditional Malagasy designs and intricate patterns. Loewe has a basket bag handwoven from raffia and iraca palm leaves by the artisans of Madagascar, Morocco, and Colombia, and hand-completed in Spain. With each bag sold, the brand donated an amount to the local artisanal communities.

Advanced Setting

The store design plays an important role in making the pop-ups more engaging. Infusing art and craftsmanship into the design can give the shoppers a compelling edge to visit the store. It has to be mood-led, sensorial, and mindful. Themed pop-ups are the beginning points of this topic. This pop-up idea can make the space a narrator of the brand value and heritage.

Brands and retailers can use AI and AR along with the help of social media platforms to showcase a perfect pop-up that invokes a joyful and immersive experience. The spaces can work with a little experimentation such as atypical and asymmetric layouts, formats, and props.

Zimmermann introduced a pop-up at Le Bon Marché department store featuring fun props alongside sensorial technology through sound and lighting that mimics a beach club environment. Charlotte Tilbury opened a sensory-focused retail pop-up surrounded by olfactive experiences to display its fragrances and answer the question of how perfumes can impact different people and emotions in different ways. The viewers are taken to a magical portal that passes through six multisensorial worlds.

Assist in Socialising and Relaxing

Brands can provide a space for their shoppers to connect and relax with each other. Retailing is evolving to be more experimentative in building relationships with consumers. They have to act as a memory giver instead of being just a service provider. Pop-ups can be effective for retailers to build a community.

These spaces can fulfill Gen Z’s need to socialize more and satisfy their quest to find meaningful connections with a major focus on mental health and self-development. The temporary stores can also provide experiences and hobbies for their target customers as 71% of consumers around the world prefer companies to understand and service their interests.

Rare Beauty organized a pop-up at Covent Garden, London, named Comfort Club, to facilitate socializing and mental health support amidst the daily city rush. It includes meditations and floral workshops. Louis Vuitton has created a retail space that acts as a home for travelers in Niseko, Japan. It has a pavilion for the shoppers to relax while there is a fireplace. Bershka reopened its Milan store with phygital shopping experience. In collaboration with an architectural firm, OMA, the brand came up with a physical+digital concept that fulfills the needs of consumers in post-pandemic. In that premise, Bershka offered Generation Bershka, an exclusive capsule collection that specializes in modern times.

Cover Image: Solebox x Adidas Handball Spezial pop-up at café Fringe, courtesy Solebox official Facebook page.