The Rise of Pop-Up Stores

Have you noticed the number of Pop Up shops quite literally popping up? With the increase of on-line shopping, Brands are now fighting to attract customers back by creating the pop-up shop experience that will have a lasting impression with customers. Retail, whether it’s a Pop-Up Shop or permanent, needs to be fun and exciting for customers. It’s all about creating retail theatre,  creating a memorable shopping experience for the customer which is something you don’t get when you are shopping on-line.

Pop-Up shops were introduced in the early 1990’s in cities such as London, New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. These retail event spaces create theatre, create a fun place to shop and generate new customers, while building Brand awareness. This is a great opportunity for the Brand to educate customers, as well as connect with customers who normally shop on-line. It gives the Brand an opportunity for a Pop-Up shop without signing up to a long, expensive and complicated lease on a property.

While most Pop-Up shops are in Malls or on the street, some pop-up shops still remain physical bricks and mortar stores. In many department stores such as Selfridges in the UK, Pop-Up shops are installed and become part of the overall department store environment. It creates excitement and anticipation when a new Pop Up shop is being launched and is an opportunity to for Brands to promote a new product, or something that is on trend or even a Wedgewood Tea Shop in Peter Jones in London.

In February Creative Download was involved with creating the Concept/Pop-Up Store “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) in Gothenburg. They are currently running an event entitled British Island, showcasing 20 innovative and sustainable British Brands new to Swedish market. This has proved to be very successful.

With any retail outlet (Pop-Up or Bricks & Mortar) good Visual Merchandising and Store Presentation is paramount.

You Don’t Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

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The Portmeirion Group

The Portmeirion Group is a British company based in Stoke-on-Trent, England.

A significant force in the homewares industry, Portmeirion Group encompasses five quintessentially British brands: Portmeirion, Spode, Royal Worcester, Pimpernel and Wax Lyrical. It is a market leader in high quality and innovatively designed tableware, cookware, giftware, table top accessories and home fragrances. With its reputation for quality, superior service and design innovation, visitors to Portmeirion Group’s stand will be delighted to see extensions to best-selling ranges as well as brand new designs that are perfectly on trend.

Portmeirion Group revealed new collections including Botanic Garden Harmony (Portmeirion), Atrium (Portmeirion) and Kingsley (Spode). “They have been heavily influenced by the current trend to bring the outside in – a huge trend for 2019 – while remaining steeped in each of the three brand’s individual heritage,” explained sales and marketing director Phil Atherton.

Here is a selection of photographs from the recent trade exhibitions at The Spring Fair at the NEC and Ambiente in Frankfurt. Once again, it was a pleasure to be part of the Portmeirion creative team with the dressing & product styling of the exhibition stand.

It does not matter whether you are a trade exhibitor or a retailer, create exciting theatre with your presentation. Grab the attention of those customers! Give them a memorable experience that you cannot find when shopping on-line!

Remember “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”

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Indulge your mum!

Here in the UK, Mother’s Day is on 31st March.  Other than Christmas and Valentines, Mother’s Day should be the third most valuable or rather commercial day of the year when it comes to sales and profit.  This particularly applies to independent gift/home shops.

If you don’t have the space to create an actual ‘window display’, then create a focal point within the shop to attract customers.  Young children may only have a small amount of money to spend on their mum, so cater to their needs.  Small toiletries and candles are always a winner.  If you are a larger retail, then pull together a range of feminine merchandise which could include throws, flowers, pictures or books.  Don’t over complicate the area. It should be simple to browse and shop from, and more importantly it needs to have ‘quick pick up lines’.

Many retailers now offer a free ‘gift wrap service’.  This could be anything from wrapping in nice tissue paper to that add-on sale with a sheet of gift wrap.  Make the customer feel special and give them a shopping experience which they cannot find when shop on-line.  As retailers it is paramount to step up a gear and get customers back onto the High Street.

Here is a selection of photographs from my files which should inspire you to make a splash of Mother’s Day to drive that all important revenue for your business.

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The Fomo Store, Gothenburg

The FOMO store (Fear Of Missing Out) is located in Molndal Galleria, just 10 mins from central Gothenburg. Fomo is reinventing retail, a permanent concept/pop-up store with a multi-brand format – a physical lifestyle blog.

The British Embassy and FÖMO Pop-Up Store have teamed up for an exclusive British design showcase in Gothenburg, Sweden. There are 20 innovative and sustainable British Brands new to the Swedish market.
These include Fashion: Menswear, Womenswear, Kidswear, Accessories: Eyewear, Bags, Jewellery, Beauty: Skincare & Wellbeing.

The brands will be at FÖMO until the end of March where you can purchase select pieces for a limited time.

Creative Download had the opportunity to work with Fomo on the store layout, and visual merchandising of the store. ”Although Creative Download work on many projects in Europe”, said Iain Kimmins owner of Creative Download, “ this is a great to tap into the Scandinavian market. Retail is a tough market at present and this is great way of keeping retail alive in creating destination store, which is continually changing”.

Ambiente – Frankfurt

It was a busy few days at the end of last week for Creative Download working on the setting up/product styling for a client who is exhibiting at this year’s trade fair Ambiente in Frankfurt.

The fair opened on Friday and this was a great opportunity to walk round the fair seeing all the new trends and the design aspects of the various exhibition stands.  Here is a selection of photographs.

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The Spring Fair – NEC

It was a busy few days at the end of last week for Creative Download working on the setting up/product styling for a client who is exhibiting at this years Spring Fair.

The fair opened on Sunday and this was a great opportunity to walk around the fair, seeing all the new trends and the design aspects of various exhibition stands. Here is a selection of photographs.

Don’t forget you can follow Creative Download on Instagram and Facebook.


Harrods – The Art of Colour

At this darkest time of year, Harrods celebrates colour as a universal language to transform, to diversify, to update, to represent and to beautify.

The Colour Supermarket windows at Harrods are part of the store-wide celebration of The Art of Colour. The store has partnered with Pantone, the authority on colour for the design industry, to create a bespoke palette inspired by the leading colours of SS19.

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Selfridges “I Love Me” Valentine Concept.

The day of love (or the day that many love to loathe) is upon us, but this year there’s a twist: Valentine’s Day is no longer just for happy couples to celebrate their love while some of us are left feeling like the only solo sock in a drawer full of perfectly matched pairs.

This year’s Valentine concept at Selfridges is entitled “I Love Me”. Whether it’s a new romance, a decade-spanning friendship or the perfect excuse for a moment of pure self-indulgence, this Valentine’s Day is just as much about you as them – after all, don’t we all deserve a bit of love every day of the year?

With its Valentine graphics, beautifully merchandise tables of gorgeous food products, each with its own strap-line, to the ceiling dome filled with pink, blue and silver baubles, a visit to the Foodhall at Selfridges is the pure wow factor.

Selfridges is definitely at the forefront of retail, where retail is certainly not dead! This store certainly knows how to market itself, create retail theatre with its superb visual merchandising and store presentation, it has become the ‘destination store’. A visit to Oxford Street is not complete without a trip to Selfridges.

Having worked as a Visual Merchandising Manager at Selfridges, you can guarantee that whatever the latest trend is, Selfridges will have it. It is the store to be seen in. Retail needs to be fun and exciting to attract customers. You certainly will not get this great shopping experience when sitting behind a screen!

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The Selfridges Corner Shop

Selfridges has been a long-standing patron of the arts, championing the showcase of artworks across the London store for many decades. Showing art in unexpected places is not a new thing at Selfridges although this is the store’ first major dedicated arts campaign take over. The campaign marks a turning point in Selfridges’ commitment to supporting the arts and the artists behind them – especially emerging promising Britain- based talent, not only more established names.

Arts for windows – in an exclusive collaboration with the artists from the forthcoming Cross Rail Art Programme Selfridges launches a series of arresting art installations in its iconic Oxford Street windows, turned galleries and exhibition spaces, featuring nine critically acclaimed artists. All nine artists were commissioned by the Crossrail Art Programme, funded by the Crossrail Art Foundation charity, to create site- specific artworks in the new stations of the Elizabeth Line due to open later this year.

The Art Store at The Selfridges Corner Shop The Corner Shop in the London store plays host to the Art Store, a multi- dimensional destination that combines retail, customer interaction and artist participation. Along with an extensive selection of art materials brought together by Cass Art, the Art Store showcases an eclectic collection of artworks and limited editions.

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H&M – Hammersmith, London

H&M has revealed a new strategy for its concept stores, with the launch of a first-of-its-kind retail experience at its Hammersmith site.

The 2,300 square metre store will launched in early December focuses, on customer experience and strengthening the H&M brand for its shoppers.

The Swedish apparel giant will test numerous new concepts at the store, which according to H&M will have a completely new look and feel, and be the first to launch across the world.

Stone flooring and “greenery” will create what H&M describes as a “covered courtyard feel”, with three floors of the store connecting via a wrought iron staircase. There is a  relaxed environment while browsing the store and I particular liked the signage and the Self Service Check-Out Desk and the focal points around the store.  It really does give the customer a good shopping experience they will remember. 

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