5 Tricks On How To Set Up A Pop-up On A Shoestring

As my old boss at Topshop used to say: web is for ordering, stores are for falling in love (with your brand). Things have moved on since we launched Topshop online back in 1998 but touching the fabric, smelling the perfume and tasting that new chilli dark chocolate is still better IRL. Here are some Minimum Viable Product tools to get your own pop-up magic going – whether you’re a tiny brand or a retail behemoth.

How to conquer the e-cosmetistas: Kylie Jenner knew she had to take her new cosmetics range to the people to get the word out last December. Even an A-lister has to build her customer base from scratch and what’s better than a dazzling Kylie Cosmetics pop-up in an LA mall! One question was how to take payments, as Kylie’s crew had only dealt with online shops before. Cue Shopify and their POS offer, which after a bit of tinkering delivered the simple way to take money off the willing cosmetistas. Quick but definitely not dirty.

Location location locationIf you’re not on first name terms with the owner of a mall, you can still get a unique venue booked for your pop-up in London, NY, LA or loads of other cities. The people in-the-know are AppearHere, who not only have good quirky venues available to hire on their books, but are also rolling out Smart Street Kiosks. You can hire the whole thing or a section, subject to the price, your imagination and the type of location that may suit your budding brand. It’s all about creating unforgettable experiences for your visitors, so Bird Street in London may be just the ticket.

Mood makersOnce you get the location for the pop-up and your mates to crew it over the weekend, the next step is to amaze visitors and create images that will stay with them forever. No money for printing big posters or pricey visual merchandising? Worry not, just get a Celluon Pico Pro Projector for the digital display on the walls of your store. You can connect it to your mobile and project video loops of models (ok – your sister and her friends) wearing your product while frolicking in Hyde Park. Works every time and, if you can do your own video edit, the only cost is the coffee for the models.

Go safe with Go Pro: Sadly, many big cities are struggling with security these days so a good camera is a must in a pop-up. Not just for catching thieves but also to put them off in the first place. You can rig up a Go Pro as the cheapest solution – it looks cool and does the job at a rock bottom price. Just put a note up that you are doing it as it is a legal requirement!

Out-of-the-box vending machines: Have a product to sell but you’d rather stay in bed and binge on Netflix? You’re in luck – customers are developing a taste for getting their emergency pair of FlipFlops or a Uniqlo T-shirt from a vending machine – no humans required. Temperature control is an option too, with the new generation of vending machines allowing you to sell frozen ice cream or hot pizza, cool live crabs or hot burgers. You can hire one to test a staff-less pop-up from one of the local suppliers or develop your own. Your imagination is the only limit, as long as no exchanges are required, since there’s no fitting rooms in these new ‘concept stores’!

New shows: Balenciaga was the spiritual father of many fashion designers, not least Christian Dior. His extraordinary technique and vision will be on display in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum from the 27th May. A must.