Daily Archives: November 7, 2008

pop-up retail: sounds rad, looks bad

‘pop-up retail’ is one of those annoying phrases that marketers have been throwing around strat sessions for a good 5 years now, and i see on cherryflava that puma has finally gone and produced their very own pop-up store at the V&A waterfront. while the phrase ‘pop-up retail’ might make 2 bit strategic consultancies feel very innovative and vital to the brands they are trying to enhance, it doesn’t impress me. and while i may be wrong here, i don’t think it impresses the consumer, either.

like husky dogs, pop-up retail is a first-world import that doesn’t sit well here. sure, in a country like sweden, which has all but obliterated the bottom half of maslow’s heirarchy of needs, putting an expensive brand in a prefab shack does come off as novel. zany. funky. but in this country, which might as well be renamed ‘Shack City’ over South Africa, a prefab container just doesn’t come off as impressive. does this make you want to walk inside and spend a lot of money on tracksuits and shoes?

Wow! Glass doors! Corrugated steel walls that look like shit! Man i cant wait to shop here.

Wow! Glass doors! Corrugated steel walls that look like shit!

i also wonder why they put a pop-up store at a location that already has a real store. a real store in a real building. maybe it’s because no one goes to the new fashion wing at the waterfront? or maybe it’s because the cool coloured kids who work behind the counter in the real store are holding it hostage by refusing to turn the bad music down? maybe it’s because young hip consumers see a brand that has only one store as being ‘poor’ and therefore non-aspirational? sigh. Gen Y are so complicated, so demanding. i don’t even understand myself some times. let’s look some more at the crappy store:

Hey, isnt this enticing? My eye is drawn to the hazard tape at the top. This place looks cooking and dangerous. Wish all my lifestyle brands could look like this.

Gonna cut myself on the metal so i can feel one with the store.

yeeeeeah. remember kids, just because Puma jumps off a building, doesn’t mean you have to, too.