Blog Posts

Pop-Up Stores’ Adaptable Exclusivity

Adaptable retail design is an effective tool to call for consumers’ attention in an information-saturated retail environment. In this series we have examined traditional retail strategies that include adaptable design examples and how customizable elements in retail design have contributed to modernize retail spaces.

The four main elements that can be easily customized in-line with seasonal promotion are:

1) Façade Design

2) Interactive Experiential Points

3) Product Displays

4) Pop-up Stores

The need to entice and bewilder customer with new experiences has brought retailers to seek new solutions and courageous design integrations. After focusing our attention to the products and the best adaptable product display designs, in this fourth part of the series we are going to explore the popular phenomenon that has characterized the last years of design: Pop-Up Store.


Pop-Up Stores

Pop-Up Stores are the adaptable retail design elements par excellence. It uses the surprise effect of ‘popping-up’ almost announced, to attract customers, and are easy to set up and dismantle thanks to its short-term nature.

In the last decade, Pop-Up stores have taken the brick-and-mortar environment by storm, galvanizing customers, and answering to the specific need for novelty and excitement. These special spaces are usually set up in busy locations, where the foot traffic can maximize the brand’s exposure. For example, Pop-Up Stores in China tend to appear in malls: this allows brands to strictly follow local regulations, but also to address the right demographics and benefit from the lively commercial environment.

By being expositions limited in time, these stores provide customers with a feeling of exclusivity: a Pop-Up Store is usually present for only a few weeks, and it appeals to customers’ “Fear of Missing Out”.


Goals of Pop-up Stores

Pop-Up Stores have revolutionized retail spaces. Their main goals fit perfectly with brands’ needs in the crowded retail space.

  • Increase brand awareness: leave a positive lasting impression on customers, amaze them into try something new.
  • Focus on experience: create a connection with the brand, promoting new products through tailor-made experiences designed for the occasion.
  • Provide ‘massclusivity’: maximize attention and foot traffic, while still providing a feeling of exclusivity to customers.


2019 Spring/Summer Collection, Tory Burch

For the launch of their 2019 Spring/Summer collection, Tory Burch displayed an experiential pop-up store in Shanghai Kerry Centre Shopping Mall. The pop-up store was placed in a large atrium not far from the brand’s main boutique. Customers were invited to travel virtually through the holiday fantasies inspired by the collection’s moods and prints, allowing the brand to reinforce their image and promote the launch. During the visit, customers also had the possibility to play touch screen memory card games designed to show the prints and colors of the season’s collection, and winners were then redirected to the brand’s boutique to collect their prizes.

Image Source: Windowswear Awards

Image Source: Valiram


2020 Absolue Gold Power, Lancôme

Between the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, Lancôme chose Sanya International Duty-Free Shopping Complex in Hainan to set their new Pop-Up Store experience. The space was a celebration of the brand’s new Absolue soft cream, with the design taking inspiration from the French rose scent of the cream. The widespread installation interested the outdoor area, decorated with hundreds of pink roses surrounding a golden Lancôme jar. The indoor installation included golden finishing and 3D screens, as well as a vast selection of skincare products, skincare professional consultants, and exclusive offers only for Sanya International’s guests.

Image Source: DFNI Frontier

Image Source: Inside Retail Asia


Launch of 2020 Pre-Autumn Collection, Bottega Veneta

The Invisible Store proposed by Bottega Veneta was undoubtedly one of the most discussed Pop-Up Store example of the last years. The installation was presented at Plaza 66 in Shanghai, and it used 3 meters high mirror panels to enclose an area of 100 square meters. The visual illusion created by the panels wowed customers and prompted them to share their experience on social media. The store successfully attracted customers into discovering more of the pre-Autumn Bottega collection, which featured leather entry level products for new customers, and ready-made apparel for both men and women.

Image Source: Wallpaper*

Image Source: WWD


Benefits for Brands

Pop-Up Stores provide a window for customers to peek through and get a taste of the brand’s new collections, but they also have strictly practical benefits for brands:

  • Testing the market: collect data on customers’ reactions and preferences.
  • Redirect customer: lead customers to the nearby store to complete their retail journey with a purchase.
  • Increase sales: use the exposure to enhance the likelihood of successful sales.



In the Adaptable Retail Design Series, we have covered the best practices for featuring versatile elements into brick-and-mortar store design. The adaptable elements in design can help amplify the novelty effect of new products or product lines releases. This can drive more traffic to the main retail locations and increase sales.

The challenge for the future of Adaptable Retail Design is to measure its current sustainability and rise to the challenge of a world where recycle takes the place of disposal.


This blog post was originally published by Melchers’ Retail Partner 5 Star Plus Retail Design, an interior design company specializing in the branded design of retail stores and restaurants. The original post can be found here.

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