The Power of Pop-ups

Yesterday saw ‘Multiplex’, the pop-up department store at The Old Selfridges Hotel presented by Tom Dixon and Wallpaper*, close – and whilst we loved exploring this design hero’s stunning collections, its departure got me thinking about the future of pop-ups.

Five years ago no self-respecting urban foodie would dine at a restaurant that wasn’t threatening to close the following week. The pop-up dining experience exploded and with it our taste buds were tickled with new food trends and experimental gastronomy, sometimes with limited success. As this trend caught the attention of public relations agencies, no pitch document was complete unless it included a pop-up concept. No matter what the industry, the pop-up was media relations magic, getting press excited and securing column inches.

However, with the never-ending search for ‘the new’, is there pop-up fatigue?

There does appear to be less editorial dedicated to temporary destination events, but I suspect it is because the big brands have taken the pop-up and super-sized it. Today, Dior announced a pop-up on Mount Street with a series of full page advertisements in national newspapers. There are no details about what the pop-up is going to be but there is some serious marketing budget behind it and I am sure it will open to much fanfare and a flourish of coverage.

If the pop-up is here to stay, I hope the small don’t get lost in the crowd and they can still command press attention. It is these pop-ups that are genuinely exciting and encourage creativity, they champion the start-up and provide a platform to discover new talent. Long live the pop-up, long live the small pop-up.