The New Trend on the Rise Is Pop-Up Stores

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Pop-up stores: new events buzz on the way

Heidi Klum's old adage that, "in fashion, one day you're in, and the next day you're out," has seldom been applied to the retail side of shopping - until now. The rise of the "pop-up shop" has emerged as a trend in shopping that, despite what its premise would suggest, has surprisingly maintained steadfast popularity. After all, fashion is arguably one of the most fickle and volatile industries out there, so it comes as no surprise that the stores that display its wares should come and go in the same manner.

WHAT IS A POP STRORE AND WHAT IS IT FOR?
Between street marketing and traditional boutique, for a few days, few weeks, few months, or for an indefinite period, Pop-up stores are "ephemeral store" custom created for the brand or product showcase. More user-friendly and interactive than traditional stores, these stores play mainly with the atmosphere which must symbolize a product or brand identity. As the company says, "My Pop Up Store", specializing in the creation of ephemeral stores, Pop-up stores enable companies or brands to "enjoy a seasonal, celebrate a big event, launch a new product or repositioning. The idea is to highlight the world of a product, brand or business (traditional for the upgrade or new to anchor) through the store's decor and activities that are proposed. Finally, like any fad, and as it is still an innovative practice in France, launching a pop-up store gives the company the status of a pioneering communication company at the forefront of the trend. It is an important asset for companies whose turnover is related to fashion, new technology or who need to prove they are "connected".

THE FENOMENOUS
Pop-up shops, temporary stores that have sprung up in shopping destinations worldwide, have a tendency to draw in huge crowds, buzzing with exclusivity and spontaneity. After all, who can deny the inner hipster in us just itching for items that only a few thousand will have the opportunity to own? Veritably, pop-up stores are glorified "One-of-a-Kind Shows," in miniature. A few years ago, when cheap real estate was scarce, pop-up stores were a major investment for marketers. Now temporary stores have emerged as a perfect solution for cash-strapped brands, commission-hungry brokers and landlords faced with a glut of commercial real-estate space. Brands are using these interim spaces as a means to create buzz, test new concepts or even evaluate a new neighborhood or city. While temporary stores first began popping up with some regularity in 2003, sky-high rents and a lack of available space made them a massive undertaking for brands. Now, in the midst of the recession, the shops are being viewed as a logical, and even inexpensive, marketing tool. In the past few months, high-end brands including Hermes, Emilio Pucci and La Perla have embraced the pop-up-shop concept, as have Gap, Seven For All Mankind, Daffy's and others. But it's not just limited to fashion brands. Furniture designer Kenyan Lewis, wine bar MADCrush, chef Tom Colicchio, and the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism have also jumped on the pop-up wagon. Though pop-up retail has established itself in the industry as "hip" and "cool," it creates a frenzied experience and gives new meaning to the term "impulse shopping." There is a fine line between exclusive shopping and a hyped-up marketing stunt. Regardless of whether or not the pop-up shop will ever replace shopping at tried and true static outlets, these ad hoc retail installations are a mainstay for shopaholics and trend-hunters alike. "Opening up a pop-up store can generate a lot of buzz for the brand," said Mike Kraus, retail adviser for AllBusiness.com. "In a media marketplace that's fragmented, [brands] are trying to find interesting ways to reach the public. No matter who opens one and where it opens, media is covering it." Brushfire Marketing, which worked with the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism on the Jersey...
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