The Power of the Pop-Up: Is It Here to Stay?
Here’s an interesting take on pop-up stores by Felicity Pogson, associate design director, interiors, Dalziel & Pow, London:
The emergence of the pop-up has changed a corner of the retail landscape and created a new and exciting platform for brands to showcase a different side to their personality. This short-term format gives a brand the opportunity to show the best of what they do in a short, sharp burst, which is a surprise for the loyal follower and an attraction for the yet-to-be-converted. Fitting out shipping containers for a fully transportable store (Uniqlo); landing temporary fixtures and fittings in a vacant space that doesn’t necessarily reflect the brand (Louis Vuitton); a beach house built on a New York sidewalk creating a full-on brand experience (Tommy Hilfiger) … the purpose can vary, but whatever the reason, it creates a buzz.
Moving away from the traditional high street retail unit is a more playful approach and customers respond to the novelty of this. The temporary nature of the pop-up attracts ‘brand faithfuls’, as well as new customers who are driven by curiosity to shop and experience the store. Social media and cleverly timed marketing campaigns further increase exposure and become talking points on a global scale.
Levels of investment can vary, but the imaginative nature of the pop-up allows brands to be freer with their expression. Big brands can relax … ramping up quirkiness and fun and truly reflecting their ‘brand DNA’, without worrying too much about longevity or seasonality. Due to space restrictions, product selection has to be more concentrated, generally coinciding with launches, collaborations or limited edition collections, and creating an edited choice, hence a stronger story for the customer.
By contrast, vacant shop units on the high street have created an opportunity for much smaller start-up brands. Ordinarily they would struggle to afford the rental to get the exposure they need to be successful, but pop-up shops in vacant units are a vital opportunity for start-ups to test the market, with low financial commitment. The benefits are twofold: the new brand has a place on the high street – gaining maximum exposure to the local market and testing their business – and the landlord has occupied shops which can offer more than mainstream retail. Independent brands are a point of difference for the shopper.
The trend continues to gain momentum, with positive results. It seems that pop-up is a credible and profitable way to go, whoever the brand, whatever the size. Time is a key factor however; the emphasis for these stores is the opportunity for shopping the temporary space combined with an element of ‘limited edition’. As their popularity grows and they start to feel established, the temptation is there for a pop-up to stay around a little longer … the question is, when does pop-up become permanent?
Walmart teams with top grocery suppliers to fight hunger
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart and leading grocery suppliers, including Campbell’s Soup, ConAgra Foods, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills, Kraft Foods Group, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, Nestle USA, PepsiCo and Unilever, have joined forces to engage millions of customers and Walmart associates this spring and bring much needed food and funding to nonprofit organizations that work to fight hunger.
According to the latest data from the USDA, more than 50 million Americans live in food insecure households, and more than 16 million of those impacted are children. To address this issue, the Fighting Hunger Together initiative will partner with Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger relief charity, to deliver $3 million in grants for hunger programs and generate more than 35 million meals for local Feeding America food banks and their partner agencies across the U.S.
"An astonishing 1 in 5 children in America are food insecure, not knowing, at some point during the year, where their next meal will come from, and as the nation’s largest grocer, we have a responsibility to help change this reality," said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. "With this initiative, we are working to help families across the U.S. by generating meals and awarding grants to local food banks and agencies to support hunger relief programs, including backpack programs providing vitals meals to children when they are out of school, and community gardens teaching families how to grow their own healthy foods."
The public will have the opportunity to join the fight against hunger and help distribute grants to local communities across the country. Ways to participate include:
Vote – Customers and Walmart associates can visit www.walmart.com/hunger and cast one vote per day for a Feeding America food bank or partner agency in local communities across the country. The winning 100 organizations, which will be announced in May, will share $3 million in grants to fund hunger relief programs.
Volunteer – Customers and associates can pledge to volunteer at their local food bank by visiting www.walmart.com/hunger.
In addition, from April 1 through August 31, Walmart associates can volunteer at food banks and other hunger relief organizations and compete for a chance to select an organization in their community to receive a $5,000 grant, as part of Volunteerism Goes Viral.
Digimarc helps Costco create more interactive magazine
BEAVERTON, Ore. — Costco Wholesale Corp. has engaged the services of Digimarc Corp. to create a more interactive experience for the readers of its monthly magazine.
The company is using the Digimarc Discover Intuitive Computing Platform to embed transparent digital watermarks within the editorial and advertising content of The Costco Connection, the largest monthly magazine in the United States. Using the Digimarc Discover application on their smartphone or tablets, the magazine’s more than 8.6 million readers are able to scan more than 50 unique digital watermarks included in articles and ads to view product information, videos and store information, make purchases, and more on their mobile devices.
"Many of our members are already browsing The Costco Connection with their mobile phones and tablets sitting nearby," said David Fuller, Assistant VP publishing and editor of The Costco Connection. "With Digimarc’s solution, our readers can seamlessly move between our print magazine and our online content without ever having to open a browser and search. This instant connection to more information means our members will be able to more deeply engage with our content much more quickly."