Christmastime Pop-Up Shops
Filed Under: ShoppingFor 2 months this holiday season, a bunch of new stores might “pop-up” downtown or in your neighborhood, but by January, they'll be gone seemingly as fast as the trendy products they carry move from their shelves.
Pop-up shops open in empty, temporary locations -- in malls, city centers or sidewalk storefronts -- to generate buzz and get new, popular and seasonal products in front of consumers doing their Hanukkah or Christmas shopping. Pop-ups have been trending in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom for several years. You've probably noticed them most around Halloween, when ghostly strip malls temporarily become costume-hunting haunts. But during the mad shopping rush between mid-November and New Year’s, shoppers can take advantage of exclusive gifts that are hard to find in traditional stores.
Independent crafters are just as likely to open a pop-up as giant retailers like Toys “R” Us, which operated 600 express shops nationwide last year. The shops are heavily concentrated in big cities like NYC, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but can also be found in smaller cities such as South Bend, IN, and Pittsburgh. Sometimes pop-up shops fill the same space in the same location each year, while others change annually, so check their websites as the holidays near. Then check into one of these unique shops during the holiday season.
Los Angeles, CACelebrity home stylist Tara Riceberg's gift boutique opens inside craft workshop Hands-on 3rd during the holidays with pre-wrapped, TSA-friendly gifts, all under $99 each. Customers can scan Quick Response (QR) codes on their smartphones for secret deals. Riceberg encourages playing with and touching everything. Otherwise, she says, why shop in person?
New York, NYThe seventh annual holiday pop-up store by Wired magazine features both new and evergreen technologies. Expect to see televisions, computers, toys and gadgets, along with a few new surprise products as well. Most of the fun is in playing with the products in-store, but the store (open from November 18- December 24) also offers online shopping, which begins this year on Nov. 14.
NYC, San Francisco & Washington, DCTarget To-Go stores are popping up in parts of these cities where there aren't Target department stores to give urban dwellers a taste of products that the brand offers. From Dec. 11 through Dec. 13, Target To-Go will also show off new, affordable products from the fashion design brand Rodarte: the pieces are part of a limited edition line that won't be available in regular stores until Dec. 20. The pop-up shops will also carry pre-wrapped, budget-friendly toys, electronics, DVDs and cosmetics. Target has pledged $2 million in gift cards and 5% of the sale of toys from Dec. 6 to Dec. 12 to the Salvation Army.
Portland, ORLast year, 5 popup shops featuring the works of various independent designers and artists opened in vacant stores in downtown Portland, including cloth/gold FACTORY, Portland Design Collective, Downtown Artistry, Flurry, and Crafty Wonderland. Crafty Wonderland and Portland Design Collective were so popular they stayed open permanently. Look for curated vintage clothing, locally designed apparel, handmade jewelry, ceramics, letterpress and photography.
Berkeley, CAThis store in Berkeley's Gilman Village offers discounted home décor from Trove and handicrafts from Ethnic Arts and Show Place Art. This shop is like a goodie bag with merchandise that changes weekly, but expect to find the likes of hand-blown vases, serving pieces and art from local Bay Area residents. After a couple of hours you'll be ready to hit nearby T-Rex BBQ for oysters, ribs, deviled eggs and cocktails.
Atlanta, GAMore than 80 designers and crafters fill the Woodruff Arts Center with their wares during the holidays, from skin care to dolls, jewelry to paper lanterns. The pop-up was founded in 2005 by 2 Atlanta crafters, Christy Petterson of a bardis and Shannon Mulkey of Patina, who were inspired by similar markets in Chicago and Austin.
_________________________________________________________________________________ Kayleigh Kulp is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance travel and business writer who loves stumbling upon independent pop-up shops while traveling, without even realizing it.