Pop-ups and trends: the [retail bytes] New York edit

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This week, our crew is in New York – catching up with Retail 2.0 and the latest pop-up innovations. Read on to discover what’s new in the magic world of retail (on the other side of the pond).

Lip kits, long queues: Shops are so over. Kylie Jenner’s recent Soho pop-up brought queues three lines deep to Mercer Street, where faithful fans queued up for hours to catch a glimpse of the influencer and get that coveted lipstick at an ephemeral two-day pop-up event. Forget window displays – the windows were tightly covered in lush pink curtains, creating an aura of mystery and hyper-exclusiveness. Did it work? Oh boy, all of the neighbouring brands (Kate Spade and Lululemon, not exactly B-listers themselves) were left in the shadows, their staff glancing wistfully at the crowds storming Kylie’s experience store. It only lasted a couple of days but we got the message – the future of the store is a pop-up!

Going all natural in BroadwayOur favourite ‘no Photoshop’ swimwear label Aeria is also pushing the envelope in redefining retail experience. Their candy-coloured fun bralettes and pineapple-printed bikinis, colourful yoga pants and cheerful nightwear are now being sold from a short-term pop-up in Soho. The beach-themed glamorous location is putting a smile on window shoppers’ faces, not just because of this ray of sunshine in otherwise grubby Broadway, but also thanks to the pioneering anti-airbrush photos of models. The pop-up will be open till June so don’t miss out!

Everlane, or evergreen? Would you like flowers with your shoes? Everlane, a new ethical fashion brand has created an enchanting pop-up experience in the depths of Nolita. Last week a crew of experienced florists joined forces with the shoe mistresses from Everlane to promote their new season collections. Customers were milling around the flower girls while trying on shoes and grabbing a fresh bouquet to go with their new shoes. When not mixing flower fragrances with new leather, Everlane is inviting customers to their Broadway studio for browsing, personal shopping sessions and a coffee. Who needs stores if you can thrive on pop-ups and a destination venue!

A POS system is all it takes: So who is behind the new wave of here-today-gone-tomorrow NY pop-ups? Experience, excitement and the ephemeral nature of new retail are what drives the new way of shopping for millennials. Mixing the spirit of festivals with a surprise party feeling, the young shopping crowds are looking for fun and that unique festival ambience that only a great pop-up can conjure. Supporting the movement is Peerspace, who can magic up a venue of retail dreams at the drop of a New Yorker’s baseball cap. All you need is a solid Shopify POS system and your pop-up is ready to go.

Amazon’s pop-up FAQs: Not satisfied with pop-up shopping, New Yorkers are moving to pop-up working. Amazon Web Services has opened a pop-up advice-and-rescue location where new (or existing) clients can poke their head in for coffee and get some help. The format is somewhat similar to my internet café Cyberia, which opened in London in 1994. Back then, the new internet users could pop in for a cappuccino and an intro to web hosting, ftp or cybersecurity advice. We might have moved on from external modems, but a friendly face and a few tech tips still make the whole online adventure a more pleasurable one. The Architect Pop-In sessions are really handy, so do pop into the AWS spot if you’re near West Broadway!

Events: Kate Moss, Bella Hadid and many other fashionistas gave their favourite jeans to an auction for Jeans for Refugees. If you’re in NY on the 20th of April, join the auction and bid for a pair of jeans hand-painted by fashion designer and artist Johny Dar. All profits go to Refugee Fund.