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The madness of New York pop-up stores!

7 minutes
Brands and retailers are outdoing one another in imagination by opening pop-up stores in the run-up to the Retail Big Show, the retail sector’s flagship event that as every year will be held at the Jacob Hewitt Center in New York City from 15 to 17 January 2017. Media coverage guaranteed and additional revenue in this period of Christmas shopping!

Beyond that, the 6 pop-up stores brought to light by Bertrand Leseigneur, our Retail Innovation US correspondent, clearly reflect the new challenges facing customer relations.

The pure-players have gone out of vogue!

Proposing new customer experiences through rewards offered by the bricks-and-mortar store is becoming an imperative every year for the pure-players.

They showcase several promises of value to appeal to customers, the main one being the reassurance of being able to try before buying, surprise by ritualizing some of our daily gestures, and ease by introducing little services.


At Google you can test everything but buy nothing!

POP UP Google 1

Still uncommon with our French retailers, product testing in consumer electronics has become a factor of reassurance prior to purchase on the other side of the Atlantic. From handling the product to testing it in a real-world situation, borrowing devices has also become a key incentive to purchase. Obviously this all takes place in impressive designer surroundings that highlight brand strategy. Google demonstrates but does not sell, as it is retailers like Best Buy for instance who sell its service-centric platform. So it’s hardly surprising that the core offering of pop-up store Google of Soho comprises 4 focal points that are mapping out the Techtitan’s future in the connected home.

pop up google

The first is dedicated to the Pixel, its new smartphone launched in October and presented as the iPhone’s ultimate competitor. The second area presents Google Home, its voice-activated personal assistant, on show in a contextualized area (a kitchen and a living room). Here you can test watching a film on your television, listen to your playlist while cooking or add items to your shopping list. Scenarios worthy in this instance of an Amazon Echo which has been centre-stage now for 2 years! The virtual reality headset is the star of the third focal point in the store, with a presentation of Daydream View, this time aimed at Samsung! Everything is designed to place Google at the centre of consumers’ homes, with an offering that could potentially control all the links in the chain, up to the access point (the fourth area dedicated to Google Wifi), to mine even more data!

Echangeur will tell you more about Google’s strategy at the next « Commerce Reloaded » conference on 2nd March next!

Take your shoes off at Everlane’s

pop up Everlane 2

Everlane, the ready-to-wear brand ranked in 2015 among the 50 online retailers in North America with the fastest-growing online sales as a percentage, proclaims itself as an anti-luxury outsider. In its Soho pop-up store, which presents a range of ladies’ footwear, you have to take your shoes off at the store entrance! The store is designed like a flower garden, inviting customers to wander round. Being shoeless brings you closer to nature and also helps the trying-on! No need to keep putting your shoes back on then taking them off whenever you want to try on another pair you like! An interesting idea and superb design, which transforms the buying act into a relaxing experience.

Carry your mattress even in the metro at Capser Sleep

pop up casper

Launched in 2014,  pure player Casper Sleep sells only one type of mattress, and you can only choose the size. Made of foam in latex with shape memory, the mattress has won numerous awards. Customers can try the mattress out for 100 days then return it if need be. In this end-of-year period, the brand is communicating with a great many posters in the metro and naturally in its pop-up store recreating a home. Its aim: boost its share of mind. There too the scene-setting is original: sublimated, only the mattress is the real object in this home. All the other objects are in 2D, uncomfortable or… simply depicted on the wall. In addition naturally to being able to test it on the spot, you can take it away with you on the metro. Your mattress is packed in a compact cardboard box, so no delivery charges. Ultra-effective!


Media, culture, videos, the new drivers of footfall?


With the 3 other pop-up stores mentioned below, the media dimension is de rigueur. We start with « Spectacles », Snapchat‘s connected glasses for producing short videos. And a spectacle they are indeed, because to be able to buy them you have to go on a teasing treasure hunt: the Spectacles are sold in Snapbots which act as pop-up stores. These vending machines are rolled out in different locations in the United States but you aren’t told where, so you have to go to FindABot to find out where the pop-up stores are. Now that you know, you have to be patient! After an interminable wait (over 3 hours’ in a queue for our correspondent!), the Holy Grail: buying a pair of Snapchat glasses as a Christmas present! So tomorrow, will we all be producers of content? ”

Faced with these new forms of content, consumers may also try to get a clearer picture and turn to specialized curation platforms for help in targeting the most suitable product. So living-space stores still have a lot going for them: concerts, music are essential ingredients in pulling consumers (back) in… Will these more engaging and reactive media be the spearheads for generating footfall and sales? 


Products selected to help you see more clearly at Thrive

Pop up Thrive

Boss and founder of the best-selling news site Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington announced in August 2016 that she was standing down as Chief Editor to devote herself to creating Thrive. The site, designed to fight the stress of the news and of working life in general, is organized around an e-commerce site, a programme of well-being for businesses and a web content platform. The pop-up store presents itself as a tool for promoting the Thrive platform. By making it easier to understand the offering in a world swamped by news, the store plays its role as a content curator. So here the store’s main strength is neither in its design or in the technologies used, but rather in the list of products offered by Thrive’s various experts. A hanging bed, a bedroom for a siesta offered to visitors, a cradle for your baby, soothing creams or a high-tech deckchair, a selection of custom products for fighting everyday stress!


A cultural hub to enhance its offer at Sennheiser

pop up sennheiser

Sennheiser est ennheiser is a brand that among other things sells very high-quality headphones. After opening a demonstration area in the World Trade Center’s new shopping mall, Sennheiser has completed its offering with a store open just for the festive season. A friendly reception with refreshments for visitor, and naturally product tests: you can evidently try out the brand’s different headphones, which are all connected to touch screens to let you change the music at your convenience. Another gem in the store, Prince’s famous gold microphone is on show, as are other music-related items. Artists will also come and perform in this showroom, opened in partnership with Tidal, the music streaming site of JayZ, the well-known hip-hop artist. The aim of this pop-up store: present the brand’s products, present itself as a cultural hub and sell for the Christmas festivities.

A pop-up store is obviously an event management tool that has a real impact for brands, more particularly by bringing them closer to their customers for a brief moment that everyone hopes is unforgettable. Veritable market surveys, they can naturally be used to quickly test consumers’ partiality for new products and garner their opinion in stores where the conversation with the salesperson takes on an added dimension, there too for sharing a common experience. Finally, they also reveal these new consumer needs that will shape the new relation customer relationship of tomorrow, full of kindnesses.



Published on 19 December 2016 by


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