Stores on the Move

Pop-up stores help promote brands and widen the client base while raking in the profits

Written by Jagmeeta Thind Joy | Published: July 13, 2012 12:15 am

Pop-up stores help promote brands and widen the client base while raking in the profits

That would be seven pieces in all,” says the store assistant as the woman in harem pants and sleeveless shirt walks out of the trial room and says that she would buy everything she’s selected at the Vanity Box in Chandigarh’s Sector 9 market. Otherwise known for lifestyle and furniture range,Vanity Box is hosting Golmaal,a pop-up store till July 13. The Mumbai-based store has brought its range of contemporary wear,including a Hepburn collection.

For Simrita Dhillon,owner of the label that has two stores in Mumbai,it’s a promising start. “We are encouraged by the response,considering it’s our first show,” says Dhillon. While there have been umpteen “designer exhibitions” in the city,the trend of pop-up store is new. “I chose the Vanity Box as it’s a store known for its strong clientele. The ladies in the city are keen on new fashion and it fits into what Golmaal is looking to cater to,” adds Dhillon.

“While Chandigarhians love to shop in the metros,I want to bridge the gap between shoppers here and stores elsewhere. The idea of a pop-up store works for everyone,” says Priya Jagat,owner of Vanity Box.

The trend seems to be catching on,with prices of retail space in the city hitting the roof. At the DT City Centre mall in IT Park,Chandigarh,there has been a spurt in the number of pop-up stores. The more recent addition is the Delhi-based store ‘Happily Unmarried’. “I was happy to see the store here since I have done a lot of gift shopping at their store in Delhi,” says Kirat Randhawa,a city-based fashion merchandiser.

The enthusiasm of shoppers such as Randhawa indicates that there is a market for pop-up stores. Pop-up stores are mid-way between trunk shows and exhibitions. Divya Thakur,creative director of Design Temple in Mumbai,points out that an exhibition is usually held at a gallery whereas a pop-up is a smaller version of the store that offers much more than just the ware. “For a pop-up to do well,the brand hosting it needs to have an identity that’s strong enough to draw in a new crowd,” she says.

“At a time when real estate prices are going through the roof,a pop-up store is the ideal way of checking out a new market within a short period,” says Maithili Ahluwalia of Bungalow 8 in Mumbai. When Cecilia Morelli-Parikh of Le Mill wanted to explore the Delhi market,a pop-up store seemed like a good idea. “The response was great,” says Morelli-Parikh,who is looking at more pop-up stores in the Capital.

Similarly,Ahluwalia is eyeing more pop-ups in the country and overseas. Luxury boutiques often dwell on the pop-up store format to test the market outside their home cities. Thakur,has,in fact,taken an ambitious step by tying up with The Park hotels across the country. “As a 12-year-old Mumbai store,we have already tapped into our customer base here. But we now want to show clients in other cities what they can expect from us,” says Thakur,who will be introducing a series of pop-up stores called Design Temple@TheBox.

The pop-up stores are not restricted to metros alone. A case in point is the multi-designer store Atosa in Mumbai. Aparna Badlani,one of its owners,is gearing up for their pop-up store to open in Nagpur this month. “Cities like Nagpur and Ahmedabad have a lot of potential as markets,” she adds.

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