Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Pop Up Stores

How pop-up stores have revolutionised brand shopping

by 12 December 2016

We live in fast-moving times. Shopping today is different than it was twenty, or even ten, years ago. But, unlike necessities, if you go shopping for leisure, you probably won’t do it on line. You’ll want to experience the objects of desire with all your senses, you’ll want to touch the soft silk, enjoy the rich scent of leather, taste the chocolate and look at everything live and from all angles.

We are all looking for something unique, we all want to find gold beneath the rubble. Buying something new for our wardrobe or garage is not just about what we purchase, but how we are being welcomed, how it is displayed and whether there is some exclusivity to it.

Brands today have found a new way to give us all that: pop-up stores provide something that the big flagship stores can’t. They make shopping an adventure. You have to know where to look and when, since they literally pop up and disappear again a few weeks later. While they are there, you often find limited editions and special offers that will soon be gone forever. Not only is this a new way to experience your favourite brands, it also makes cities more interesting. If you visit every once in a while, you never know what you’ll find this time.

commes de garconComme des Garçons

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The first pop-up store in Germany appeared in 2004. Rei Kawabuko’s cutting-edge label Comme des Garçons opened it in a former library in Berlin. As a brand that had always been known for its originality, this was a completely new way to present their couture. Promoted by word-of-mouth and a few hundred posters all over Berlin, it was an astonishing success that set a precedent. Today, you’ll find two Comme des Garçons stores in Berlin: Comme des Garçons Black and Comme des Garçons Pocket.

With their pop-up concept ‘L’Aventure,’ Louis Vuitton concentrated on adventure – hence the name. Here, you could have your luggage personalised so that it fits your needs and doesn’t get lost in the big wide world. Services included made-to-measure pieces, the ‘Mon Monogram’ service as well as painting and hot stamping. This way, the brand ensured that if you visited their store, you would get something no one else had – a truly exclusive item.

Hermes

Hermès pop-up

One of the most creative companies as far as pop-up stores are concerned is Hermès. Their stores feature miniature golf courses with fabric patterns, or launderettes for precious silk scarves, and they are sometimes built – functional and cool – from used shipping containers. This October in Munich, there’s a new washing machine in town: ‘HermèsMatic’ at Türkenstraße 67, where you can create something new from your old silk scarf. A Hermès expert helps you to combine and colour it in new, trendy hues. Only 48 hours later, you receive a folded and wrapped parcel – for free! It may have been a worn scarf, but it will surely feel like a very special present. If you’d like to experience the metamorphosis but don’t have a Hermès silk carré at hand, you can buy one or more directly at the store.

Pop-up stores can be used for far more than just fashion and textiles. At ‘The Sound of Porsche’ in New York, Moscow and other cities, you can take the new 911 for a futuristic virtual test drive. There’s also a sound laboratory for the car with its iconic roar.

EsmaraEsmara in Hamburg

Those who went shopping at the exclusive Neuer Wall in Hamburg in September this year must have wondered: what is this stylish new store? ‘Esmara,’ a new label? It was in fact a premium pop-up store by the German discount label Lidl, created to promote their new collection of clothes designed by Jette Joop.

Gucci, MCM, Lexus, they’ve all done it, popped up, sold the t-shirt. They all succeeded in awakening our hunting instinct and giving us new, dynamic experiences with their brand. We are looking forward to see where the fashion industry is headed with this!