Why Pop Ups Are Changing The Future For Luxury Retail Brands

Just as the future for retail looked uncertain, the concept of temporary, ephemeral stores have resurrected the industry from a potential collateral drop. The pop-up shop has boomed and disrupted the way retailers are marketing, profiting and interacting with their customers.

Pop-up stores began to circulate in 2008 after the financial crash. Originally, they were a welcome solution to expensive long-term leaseholds. Now, the retail pop-up industry is worth an estimated £2.3 billion.

Pop-ups proving a staple for luxury brands

Pop-ups are a fantastic opportunity for brands of all sizes to experiment with new campaigns, customers, geographic locations and activations. With a short-term lease and minimal maintenance, companies have the chance to delve into a new market without the commitment of a brick-and-mortar location.

The success rate of pop-ups has been ground-breaking for luxury retail, with 80% of global companies who have launched a pop-up claiming it to be extremely successful with 85% of consumers likely to make a purchase after participating in events and experiences.

The Life of Pablo pop-up store roll-out

Pop-ups are multi-functional for brands, with many using scarcity and exclusivity in their favour to create hype. Kanye West tweeted the locations of his 21 pop-up stores the night before each launched and as a result, social media was flooded with loyal fans sharing their enthusiasm to have the chance to purchase the limited-edition streetwear. It was estimated that each of The Life of Pablo pop-up stores profited half a million dollars in sales.


The Life of Pablo pop-up stores profited half a million dollars in sales.

Creating flexibility with store locations and demographics

Brands often pick locations based on their competitors but as retail behaviour is shifting and millennials disposable income is increasing, luxury brands are now using short-term retail spaces to stand out and appeal to a new market. Chanel opened a pop-up store in London’s Covert Garden, harbouring a nail bar, make-up tutorials and events. The pop-up gave Chanel the opportunity to interact with a new demographic who wouldn’t usually venture to the location of their flagship store.

The pop-up space generated a mass of attention and engagement, alongside the opportunity to evaluate how successful the type of store would be before investing long-term. The store is now a permanent fixture in Covent Garden.

Brand collaboration pop-ups

From Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals and Louis Vuitton x Supreme, luxury brands are capitalising on fashion collaborations. Exploring new boundaries, Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals took to a more innovative pop-up concept: a pop-up truck. Fans followed the mobile store via social accounts where they could find the exclusive capsule collection.

Converse and JW Anderson exclusive pop-up

2018 saw a brand-new and exciting joint retail experience from iconic footwear brand Converse and Luxury British fashion designer JW Anderson.

FormRoom were invited to produce a 4-day pop-up in celebration of the Converse x JW Anderson collection titled ‘Toy’. We created a retail space that replicated a traditional art gallery and incorporated elements that invite child-like interaction, including building shapes with colourful foam blocks. Materials, colours and textures represented each of the trainer’s colourways while a bespoke gradient wall created a photo opportunity to generate engagement online.

The pop-up gallery was also host to events, talks and workshops, keeping the space unique, engaging and driving interest to the product release.

Pop-up shop design company

As consumer shopping habits and expectations shift, pop-ups allow brands to stay current with the movement of retail experiences.

If you’re a brand that’s looking to expand your business, showcase a new product or experiment with a new space, we’d love to hear from you.