Stores on the move
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Delhi-based marketing professional Kavita Sharma is always on the look out for trendy apparel and accessories. She was elated when she found out that Mumbai's luxury fashion studio Le Mill is putting up a five-day pop-up store at the Capital's One Style Mile store in May this year. "I had heard and read a lot about the eclectic mix that Le Mill stocks, but I had never been able to experience it first-hand. With this pop-up store in Delhi, I now had a taste of the shopping experience at Le Mill, and I was glad I stopped by," she says.
The enthusiasm of shoppers such as Sharma indicates that there is a market out there for pop-up stores. By definition, pop-up stores are mid-way between trunk shows and exhibitions. Divya Thakur, creative director of Design Temple, points out that an exhibition is usually held at a gallery whereas a pop-up is a smaller version of the store that offers you 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. It also helps when the venue is popular among shoppers," she says.
The visual merchandising too plays an important role in a pop-up store. "Here, one is not just selling a garment or an accessory; rather you're introducing the store to the customer. Hence, there's a greater focus on the display. Moreover, 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.
For Ahluwalia, the pop-up store concept has turned out to be a convenient way of bridging the south and north Mumbai divide. "Our store is located in Colaba, so often our clients from Bandra and Juhu, especially the younger crowd and Bollywood personalities, find it difficult to travel that far," says Ahluwalia. The crowd gathered at the one-day pop-up at the Yoga House in Bandra in February, proved her right. Similarly, Cecilia Morelli-Parikh of Le Mill wanted to explore the Delhi market. A pop-up store seemed like a good initiative. "The response was great as Delhiites were very receptive towards the brand," says Morelli-Parikh, who is looking at more pop-up stores in Delhi. Ahluwalia is eyeing more pop-ups across the country and in international cities such as New York.
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