Friday, January 16, 2009

Pop-Up Shops: Gimmick or Goldmine?

It seems that this past year especially there have been a wealth of pop-up shops cropping up around the city. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the trend, the pop-up shop is a short-term kiosk (if you will) containing choice items that are generally indicative of a brand collaboration (ie: Colette and The Gap), or artist-in-residence type showcases (ie: John Derian designing decoupaged trays sold at Target pop-up "Bodegas"), and most importantly they are meant to inject (in my opinion) a shot of trendiness into big name brands that usually specialize in low and moderately priced wares. The pop-ups comment on the ephemeral nature of fashion and trend-setting, due to their limited lifespan, and also promote the consumerist aspect of the industry by showcasing and marketing "must-have-it" limited-edition items that you can only purchase here and now. This serves to create a healthy sense of competition among buyers (such as waiting in a line around the block on a scorchingly hot day in August to get a Colette candle at The Gap's pop-up shop). I recently read this article on The Moment Blog, and I was left wondering how the concept of the pop-up shop fits in with the economic crisis. Is it a surefire method of increasing sales and getting people excited about fashion again, or is it ultimately an unnecessarily risky venture when consumer-interest is at an all time low? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think pop up shops are a phenomenon capitalizing on the element of surprise that catches the imagination of the shopper and brings them inside for a look around. As soon as the novelty of the new shop wears off, it closes becoming a new shop somewhere else.