Pop-up shops – once considered a quick-and-cheap concept for retailers – are evolving into elaborate design executions.
“Retailers are willing to invest more money into the concept for greater exposure and the demand that the short-term shop will create for their product,” says Deb McKeand, founder of Worktable nyc in New York, and designer of the B.D. Baggies pop-up in Fred Segal Santa Monica. “As a result, the pop-up shop feels more finished or permanent.”
B.D. Baggies, purveyor of pre-laundered button-down shirts, used stacks of display cubbies, headless body forms and even a laundry-detergent scent to give its 372-square-foot space a more solid presence. Tommy Hilfiger’s Prep World, an 800-square-foot pop-up beach house on a worldwide tour this summer, feels as permanent as an actual New England summer cottage, complete with window shutters and a real grass lawn.
The Body Shop’s pop-up at the Goodwood Vintage Festival in West Sussex, U.K., featured customized in-store fixtures and a glass-fronted freezer turned display cabinet. “It kept with a vintage feel while still being a merchandising space you could shop out of,” says Martin Crehan, senior creative for Green Room Retail Ltd. (Birmingham, U.K.), which designed the space.
Food-based pop-ups are also serving up more complex designs. As part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the James Beard Foundation, a 4000-square-foot temporary restaurant, called JBF LTD, opened in New York’s Chelsea Market for five weeks this past April.
Using a half-mile of wire and 1200 light bulbs, James Biber, partner at Biber Architects (New York), traced patterns across the ceiling to create “stars in the sky.” Eighty black and white cast-aluminum chairs and community-style tables added to the street festival vibe. “It’s not just a lemonade stand,” he says. “It’s all the things that came together to produce this unprecedented moment.”