Pop up shops are one of the hottest things for celebs right now and the list of who’s jumping in seems to be growing every day. From musicians to those who appear on the silver screen, it has quickly become the in thing for the elite to do, but this isn’t just a passing craze. It may well be one of the smartest things they could be doing for their brands, for many of the same reasons pop up shops work for the rest of us.
Who’s Popping Up?
TV shows aside, Kylie runs her own business that focuses on fashion. So far, she has hit both ends of the US by opening popups in California and New York. Her latest was a very limited engagement in NYC’s SoHo, which featured Kylie Cosmetics and some of her athleisure apparel.
The Weeknd has done a number of short-term pop-up shops across the globe. The primary draw for his European round this month included exclusive Starboy gear. In the past, he’s opened up spaces in the areas he performs.
For his most recent round of pop-up shops, Justin Bieber created buzz for his Purpose Tour. Like many other musicians, these appeared near his concert venues and only remained open for a day or so, but he hit most major cities throughout the world before he was done.
True to her unique self, Rihanna did her own thing for her pop up shops. Hers focused on the US, with an engagement on each coast, and although they naturally included concert apparel, that wasn’t really the main draw. Her Fenty Puma collection was on display, featuring uncommon combos, such as heels done up like sneakers on one shelf and tear-away track pants on another. She’s also one of the few celebs who makes a point of appearing at her shops, drawing in crowds from everywhere.
Folks in Manchester, London, and Los Angeles were treated to pop up shops put on by The 1975 just before Christmas. The shops featured the rock band’s concert merchandise and gave visitors some cool photo ops next to neon signs with their song lyrics.
To cash in on a little extra buzz created by their performance at the Grammy’s, Daft Punk launched a single pop up shop in Los Angeles. While it hosted plenty of concert apparel, the band also used it as a museum of sorts and showcased pieces from old sets, props, artwork, and, of course, helmets. Lots of helmets.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow primarily operates the lifestyle brand Goop online, but she’s been known to launch a pop up shop or two in swanky NYC. Her shop, goop mrkt, ran most recently during the holiday 2017 season and featured everything from key rings to household goods and apparel.
One of our previous blogs explored Kanye West’s pop up shop success. He’s confident about it as well, Tweeting “but there is no other brand that could sell 1 million dollars of clothing in 2 days from 1 location!!!” His initial steps into short-term retail involved a solo venue in major hubs, but near the end of last year, he simultaneously deployed ultra short-term pop ups across the globe.
Why Stars Are Flocking to the Pop Up Model
The obvious answer is because it increases their sales. As Kanye said, he cleared a million dollars in two days from a single shop. No word on what his worldwide launch netted him.
By overseeing the sales of their own products, versus licensing them or allowing retailers to sell on their behalf, as stars have done in the past, celebs can manage their own personal brands and cut out middlemen.
If there’s one thing that drives excitement about something, it’s scarcity. Limiting launches to short-term retail ventures gets fans excited about the engagement and drives sales.
In addition to raking in the dough, these venues help raise awareness about the celeb’s personal brand or other activities. For example, when deployed around the time of a concert, sales at the venue go up and ticket sales rise. Traditionally online-only companies get press about their brands, which drives more traffic to their site.
There are a lot of different models that surround pop up shops. Although basic retail venues can help create a stronger bond with consumers, we tend to see this more when brands to what Daft Punk did and create experiences for visitors. That kind of engagement can generate lifelong bonds with their audience.