Don’t be surprised if the malls and shopping centers are packed even tighter with kiosks and storefronts this season. Temporary shops are popping up all over the place, offering consumers a chance to sample and order products, attend free events, and even network with industry professionals. Retailers are benefiting too: These mini stores bring brand awareness, more sales, new markets, and customer engagement.
We’ve compiled a list of the five best examples of pop-up stores we could find. Each one is guaranteed to generate excitement throughout the country as we head into the final stretch of the holiday season.
The Concept: The pop-up stores offer a pretty basic layout. They are compact, well-lit, and offer plenty of counter space to display products.
The Goods: The Surface, Microsoft’s tablet, as well as the Kinect and Xbox One gaming systems will be the most popular items at the shops.
Microsoft’s pop-up shops will try to stand out. The current design looks quite similar to the average mall kiosk. Though it was one of the first major companies to begin this trend a year ago, there are plenty of other creative kiosks and sales strategies this holiday season to compete with.
The Concept: “Winter Wonderlab” is the theme of these snow globe-shaped stores, complete with fake snow, holiday decor, games, music, and plenty of toys. You can even make a slow-motion video of yourself dancing in the falling snow.
The Goods: Nexus devices, including the phone and new tablet, as well as Chromecast and Chromebook computers will be on display. Consumers can order the products online inside the store.
Google revealed the igloo idea soon after it released the news of its interactive showroom barges off the East and West coasts. It seems that as the company’s range of products expands, so do its modes of creative advertising. The six wonderlabs across the country open will stay open until Christmas Eve.
The Concept: These Intel Experience Stores physically change three times a day. The stores screen movies once a week, host speakers, and offer local programs and events to engage with the community.
The Goods: Laptops, desktops, and tablets are available.
The three locations—Lincoln Park in Chicago, Nolita in New York, and Venice in Los Angeles—were chosen because they’re urban and hip, according to Intel. The company aims to collaborate with local businesses and community leaders for events and games. Perhaps the best part: Free coffee. All day.
4. WIRED STORE
The Concept: The highly curated store in New York City will open December 4-22. Expect speakers, concerts, and plenty of specially selected holiday gifts.
The Goods: The magazine’s editors choose the best tech gadgets, high-end goods, and art of the season. This year’s inventory features Ouya, a new game console, Fitbit Force exercise monitors, Beats by Dr. Dre, and much more.
Now in its ninth year and a staple NYC holiday event, WIRED has decided to change the pace. The 2013 pop-up will be a social retail experience, according to the website. We aren’t really sure what that means, but the editors at the magazine are rarely boring. Since the event is promoted more this year, it’s easy to wonder what media or social brands will attempt to curate products next holiday season.
5. CRATE AND BARREL
The Concept: The home furnishings retailer is selling both holiday-themed décor and a selection of its classic products in these large “Tree Lots,” located in Nashville, Des Moines, Iowa, Las Vegas, and Albany, N.Y., where the company doesn’t currently operate stores.
The Goods: This curated version of the store offers holiday decorations, glassware, food, gift packages, and cookware.
The pop-up store in Albany—where Crate and Barrel has a high number of catalog sales—is in the same mall as Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn. It’s an interesting thought for retailers who want to test the market against competitors. With the increasing ability to track specific consumer information with online and mobile sales, this could open a new door for retailers wanting to expand.
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