According to Wikipedia “…a pop-up retail space is a venue that is temporary….The trend involves “popping-up” one day, then disappearing anywhere from one day to several weeks later. These shops, while small and temporary, can build up interest by consumer exposure. Pop-up retail allows a company to create a unique environment that engages their customers, as well as generates a feeling of relevance and interactivity.”
What does that mean exactly? I found out a few weeks ago when my friends Michael and Hillary Anderson set up shop for two days in an upstairs space on trendy Melrose avenue here in L.A.
My friends own a brick and mortar clothing store called “Takapuna” in Santa Barbara. Once a year they bring their inventory down to LA for a two-day sale event at a rented space somewhere in the city. Michael usually calls the event a “Trunk Show”, but he much prefers to call it a “Pop Up Shop”. Unfortunately most Americans aren’t familiar with the term. He says it’s used much more often in his native England.
I can now say that I’ve experienced first hand, the gritty, only open for two days, phenomenon of the pop up store. It was fabulously fun. The “unique environment” Wikipedia mentions included in this instance a trek up a flight of narrow, dimly lit stairs. (I felt like I was going to one of the one-night-only dance clubs I used to frequent in my 20’s.) Essentially it was a party. I had to get there by a certain time, on a certain day, or miss out completely. Everyone at the event had been invited by the owners. Only at this party I shopped for clothing while I sipped wine and made chit-chat with strangers.
The jacket, below, was really fabulous. Unfortunately someone else got my size. That’s the thing about shopping a pop up, you’ve got to get there and claim your goods before everyone else does. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.
There was menswear as well.
I’ve known Michael since I was about 11. He makes all my father’s clothes. They’re best friends.
Well, you get the idea: shopping, music, wine, and fun.
Have you ever been to a pop up shop? If so, what did you think? Would you go if you heard about one?