More and more, brands are focusing on experiential retail experiences to create shareable customer experiences. The UK has recently seen a plethora of pop-up stores, mostly from digitally-native beauty brands that don’t have traditional storefronts. Pop-ups are a great way for brands to dip their toes into different markets and test the waters in terms of customer demand. They also work as a clever way to initiate user-generated content, as they are often ‘Instagrammable’ and creative, encouraging visitors to share their experiences on social media. The concept of the pop-up store offers innovative and interactive activations for retailers to diversify customer experience, and in this article, we look at some of the top UK pop-ups that have created selling success.
The Top Innovative Fashion & Beauty Pop-Ups in the UK
Birchbox is a global beauty subscription service that caters to its customers’ beauty needs in the form of a personalized monthly box delivered directly to your door. This year we saw the brand launch a pop-up store in central London, which was was initially planned for 3 months – but, with the increase of sales beyond predication, they extended the pop up for a further two months.
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The brand new Birchbox pop-up shop opens today! Join us at 10am as we open the doors at 43 #Carnaby Street and our first 100 customers can build their own Birchbox for FREE! Can’t make it? We’re here until the end of January so stop by to BYOB, shop our bestsellers, and join the fun.
As a subscription service, the majority of their strategy has been focused on their Owned Media channels, such as their website and social accounts. The implementation of a pop-up where customers could come in-store to create their own box using the brands that Birchbox features represents a disruptive shift in strategy for the brand to engage and attract customers. Their Black Friday sales increased by 93% year on year and direct sales have increased by 136% showing increased investment in unique marketing tactics has paid off.
Glossier’s pop-up brought their online brand image into reality, as the beauty giant created a Glossier store, with 19th-century décor and colorful, flower-print walls, located on the aptly named Floral Street. The shop (which is still open in Covent Garden), embodies the millennial pink-themed brand, taking inspiration from British member’s clubs. There is also a Glossier Rooftop, which is modeled after the London skyline and a Glossier umbrella that can be purchased in-store (Glossier donates £5 to the Young Women’s Trust for each umbrella sold).
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Glossier is already one of the most Instagrammable beauty brands, thanks to founder Emily Weiss, and it continues to stay creative in involving consumers with their branding via exclusive shopping experiences. The pop-up based in London is the only outlet in the UK that is currently selling the Glossier brand, which adds to its exclusivity, but also allows Glossier to measure the market for product demand.
Huda Kattan grew from being a successful beauty blogger to one of the top industry moguls when she launched her brand, Huda Beauty – known for its unique and rich pigments and faux mink eyelashes. Whilst Huda Kattan already retails in specific department stores in the UK, the brand launched its first-ever immersive pop-up in London in November, which runs until the 16th of December. Described as an intergalactic journey and experience, the pop-up store is filled with exclusive collections, allowing guests to play with new products. The first 100 guests were able to get their hands on a free Huda Beauty goodie bag, which led to the event tickets getting completely booked up in the first week.
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Thank you so much my LOVES for coming out to see me & for making our FIRST EVER pop up so successful!!! I LOVE you all soo much!! Where should we have our next pop up? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ repost @huda ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yesterday was so insane! We kicked off our FIRST EVER pop up!! We wanted to do a huge robotic thing to bring our photo shoot to life, but then I got so nervous! I felt everyone’s energy and it was incredible! My team worked soooo hard on this! Almost 1 year of planning but I couldn’t be happier! 💗💗🇬🇧🇬🇧 thank you London #HudaBeautyPopUp #HudaLovesLondon @theplasticboy @tusharnesenior @jagodafurtado @daniellemarcan @biancabraicu @pilimateoss @babblingon
This is a great example of a brand that is already celebrated in the online community creating awareness and visibility on the ground in a key market. The pop-up allows British consumers to get to know the brand and gain first-hand access to products that will drive purchases and generates insights to help understand how consumers in the UK resonate with their brand. With global sales currently reported to be at $400M, Huda Beauty is continuing to invest in various marketing strategies to present their brand to consumers in innovative ways.
The London pop-up store will be located in Covent Garden and is open from November 29th until Boxing Day.
HURR Collective is the first of its kind – a wardrobe rental platform, founded by Victoria Prew. The invitation-only model involves both consumers and garment owners looking to lend out their wardrobe for extra cash. With much more precedence being placed on sustainable fashion, HURR Collective is the perfect answer for conscious fashion consumers. HURR works as a market place for their community where clothing owners put up their pieces for rent, allowing them to make a profit on their own wardrobes and allowing the customer to wear and experience designer pieces for around 20% of the original retail price.
This year HURR collective hosted its first-ever pop-up shop in central London, for old and new members, hosting a range of designers including Rixo, Needle & Thread, Chanel and many others.
This is a solution for fashion retailers to become a part of the re-selling market, and cut down on unethical clothing waste. HURR Collective’s pop-up shop is a fun and exciting strategy to show consumers what they can expect on the platform, as well as showing the quality of the brands and physical clothing consumers can rent and borrow.
In the new year, we expect to see more brands implementing unique experiences for customers in order to compete, and stay relevant in a fierce sector. As consumers as starting to look for more personalized shopping experiences that also double as a way to create shareable content, fashion and beauty brands should look to push clever marketing campaigns through the use of pop-up stores in new markets.
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