As previously discussed on the blog, the key to retail regeneration lies in diversification and innovation – with the rising trend in pop-up retail allowing businesses to rapidly develop and test new ideas, gain feedback from their customers and find new ways to strengthen both sales and brand identity. As mentioned earlier this week, Ryanair have just opened their first High Street pop-up shop in Manchester selling airline tickets face to face, rather than by phone or internet. By using the pop-up retail approach, they are able to test the market with a view to opening similar stores in Europe.
As the current pop-up retail movement goes from strength to strength, last week we were pleased to see another great innovative pop-up retail store here in London win 2 well-deserved prizes at the Retail Week Interiors Awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel. The Mini pop-up shop at Westfield shopping centre won both Best Small Store and Best POP/Visual Merchandising Solution.
The Mini store which is open for just 12 months, employs a blend of cutting edge retail interior design and innovative retail technology which attracted over 4,000 visitors within the first few days of opening at Westfield. The aim of this retail design concept is to break with tradition – taking the car out of the dealership and onto the high street – to showcase two new Mini models – the Coupe and the Countryman and sell popular Mini-related merchandise including bags and t-shirts. Since the re-launch of the Mini brand ten years ago the company has developed a large community of enthusiasts and fans for whom Mini is much more than just a make of car – and this is reflected in both the ethos and the popularity of this ground-breaking retail store.
The pop-up store opened in February and is situated on the main walkway to the Olympic park which meant that it enticed many shoppers to come in and browse during the summer’s events in London. Inside the store, the iconic Mini brand is complimented with a bold retail interior design, encouraging shoppers to try the very latest in retail technology including the ‘Mini car configurator’ software designed to help them create their very own 3D Mini and an interactive mirror which allows them to digitally ‘try on’ outfits from the Mini merchandising fashion range without removing their clothes. In addition to clothing, the store offers Mini luggage sets, stationery and an electric Mini Convertible ride-in toy car for children – and if looking at all those Minis gives shoppers a taste for the real thing they can also book a test drive at their local dealership directly from the pop-up shop.
In addition to winning 2 awards last week the store was also runner up in the ‘store design of the year’ category at the recent World Retail Awards. Jochen Goller, Director of Mini UK commented on their success:
“The Mini store in Westfield Stratford City is an exciting new approach for our brand, for the first time we are giving shoppers the opportunity to browse the latest Mini models in a retail setting which is completely removed from the established car showroom environment….over the next year we will be listening to and learning from what visitors to the Westfield store have to say about what they expect from their car retail experience.”