In the last couple of years, we have seen the steady yet meteoric rise of the pop-up shop. Across fashion, beauty, nutrition, health and more, pop-up shops are cropping up all across the country and shoppers can’t seem to get enough (and neither can we!) From well known designers like Ruchika Sachdeva, newly launched labels like Nicobar to fashion savvy young entrepreneurs aspiring to change the fashion game, this new concept in flash retailing is fast gaining popularity and seems be the the way of the future for fashion retail.
So what is it about the pop-up concept that is so fascinating? Is it the need for a unique shopping experience in this consumer centric space? Is it to differentiate oneself from competitors in a highly saturated market?
Looking for answers, we spoke to Nandini Varshnei, founder and curator of The Armoire, a carefully curated luxe pop up shop which made its debut in Chennai in October 2015.
Why start a pop-up concept as opposed to a brick and mortar store? What are the advantages/disadvantages?
Pop up shops are the new brick and mortars. They offer something new and exciting to customers, while also ensuring that overheads are kept at a minimum. Pop up shops also instil a sense of urgency into customers, as they know that the event is on for a limited time only, prompting them to attend our shows.
What do you think the consumer stands to benefit from pop-up culture? What differentiates this from a regular store for a consumer?
They offer a break from the limited options presented by brick and mortars as well as the fanatic shopping experience experienced at typical exhibitions and expos. Pop ups represent well curated, on trend collections as well as provide a more personalised shopping experience, making it more appealing to shoppers.
How do you think designers/labels stand to benefit from the concept of pop-ups?
The benefits are multi-fold for designers! They get to explore a completely new market without investing in a flagship store or having their stocks tied up for long with a multi-designer boutique. Pop ups, which typically last anywhere between one day to one week ensure their unsold merchandise and sales proceeds are turned in to them much sooner.
Do you see this as a growing concept in the Indian fashion space? Do you think it has the potential to go beyond fashion to beauty etc?
Absolutely! I can say with absolute certainty that pop ups are the future of retail. We have not only been seeing pop ups in the fashion and home accessories space, but also food!
How did you go about setting up The Armoire?
It was literally over a course of a couple of months. I ideated the name, concept and list of designers I would want to do my opening show with, and followed that up with branding and social media marketing. Through a simple Facebook post and subsequent reposts by friends, we were able to cross 1000 followers in 3 days. Never underestimate the power of social media!
About The Armoire:
The Armoire offers style-savvy Chennai shoppers access to the trendiest looks of the season from designers and labels that are yet to make a foray into the city. The pop up shop quite literally ‘pops up’ on a quarterly or bi-quarterly basis, bringing with it a different collection, a slew of new designers and the latest in apparel and accessories. Featuring a blend of fashion week favourites as well as fresh talent, The Armoire showcases apparel, jewelry and other accessories and has featured labels such as Sonali Gupta, Surendri by Yogesh Chaudhary, Soup by Sougat Paul, Neha Taneja, Madison and Beau Monde by Kanika Chawla amongst several others.