One brand which has wholly embraced the pop-up trend with not only a pop-up retail store in Boxpark but a pop-up Jamaican bar in Shoreditch and several other impressive travelling pop-up retail units is PUMA.
Starting with their ‘pop-up city’ which originated in Alicante in Spain in 2008 PUMA have created a range of fabulous pop ups and were one of the first brands to experiment with using shipping containers for their own innovative retail store designs.
The idea behind the PUMA Store at Boxpark is ‘twentyone’ based on the given unit number for the shipping container it is situated in, the entire store concept is then based around this number – the stock is refreshed every 21 days, events and promotions take place every 21 days and the store only stocks 21 special or limited edition footwear styles at any given time.
The PUMA Yard pop up bar in Brick Lane was opened for a few weeks during the London Olympics in 2012 as a tribute to the Jamaican provenance of sporting stars such as Usain Bolt. Also constructed from shipping containers with a first floor deck serving Jamaican cuisine and beer, the Yard also housed several giant TV screens for watching the games and a ‘PUMA Speed Test’ where people could test their skills compared with Usain Bolt’s own 9.58 second record.
Our favourite PUMA pop-up has to be the original PUMA city – constructed from 24 shipping containers, this three-storey pop-up structure travelled the world for several years, visiting Spain, America and Russia as a mobile base for the PUMA Volvo Ocean race sailing team before dropping in on the football World Cup in Cape Town. The mini village was shipped around the world in it’s containers and re-constructed at each port to create a striking retail concept comprised of PUMA clothing and shoe stores, a bar and souvenir shop relevant to the particular event it happened to be promoting on it’s travels.
Looking at the way that PUMA uses pop-up retail, it’s obvious that these stores aren’t just about selling units – with only 21 types of shoe available or selling beer instead of shoes- they’re more about raising brand awareness – supporting PR and marketing endeavours and generally creating positive associations with the PUMA brand wherever they appear. Pop-ups such as these also provide a perfect opportunity to experiment with ideas and also create rapid ‘on trend’ experiences in a range of environments.