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Stores we love – September 2016

Summertime tends to bring with it a host of fun, engaging pop-ups, and this year didn’t disappoint. We’ve seen plenty, and missed more than we can imagine, but here are a few that have caught our eye… With the usual suspects like Nike creating some dazzling productions, it was also great to see what other brands were getting up to. It seems gimmicks and publicity pop-ups are long gone; in their place a host of immersive experiences, where brands are positioning themselves in new and often unexpected ways.

The Dining Club from Ikea – London

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Ikea has done it again… this time in the form of a pop-up dining club. Situated in the heart of Shoreditch, in an old tile factory, Ikea offered time- and space- strapped Londoners the opportunity to book a three-hour slot to prepare and cook a range of Scandinavian-inspired dishes for themselves and up to 19 of their friends, and, the best bit all – the food and drink was free. The Dining Club also offered interactive workshops, a Swedish café, virtual reality kitchen and a shop.

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What we love:

Having attended one of the interactive workshops, we learned that each Ikea ingredient, from pickled herring to cloudberry jam, is sustainable and organic – certified to meet standards of environmental and social responsibility while also being better for you – something we hadn’t previously associated with Ikea. We left appreciating that Ikea was about much more than the usual household items and flat-pack furniture, and felt that the values of food and bringing people together were well communicated throughout the experience and space. We also loved that Ikea was more accessible, if only for a short time.

Lidl’s fashion pop-up – Hamburg

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© Lidl

To promote the new season collection of its private label apparel, Lidl made the surprise move of opening a pop-up store on one of Hamburg’s most prestigious shopping streets, Neuen Wall Street. Happily nestled between luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, the fashion-only store looked the part, despite the prices starting from just €4.99 for a scarf.

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© hamburg-zwei.de

What we love:

The sense of humour around this pop-up, and the fact that while there were some concessions, (for example tweaking the yellow and blue logo to a more stylish monochrome), the point was more about the idea that shopping experiences should be categorised by lifestyle, rather than budget or brand.

Mussel Beach by Lidl – London

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© The LDN Social

Earlier this month Lidl opened a pop-up beach in Shoreditch to promote the provenance of the mussels it sells, which are sourced from the Isle of Mull in Scotland. Named ‘Mussel Beach’ the space recreated the stunning scenery of the Isle, and brought along cutting-edge culinary masters Blanch & Shock to create a number of recipes for guests to experience affordable sustainably sourced shellfish.

With Lidl UK recently named the MSC’s Mid-Sized Retailer of the Year, the interactive experience or ‘Lidl Surprise’ further communicated and reinforced the brand’s value and sustainability credentials.

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© Lidl

What we love:

Interesting to see how Lidl has brought its TV ads to life in a physical experience, continuing to challenge customer perception of its products’ quality by giving them the opportunity to experience it first hand. With its #LidlSurprises campaign, and engaging customers through investment and innovative communications, Lidl continues to lead the supermarket pack.

Nike Unlimited You – London

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© Stylus

To celebrate the end of the Rio Olympics, Nike held an immersive three-day workout experience in The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. With an interactive lighting installation by spatial design studio Artisan, bespoke soundtrack by Alexis and Joe from Hot Chip performed by a live orchestra, and sessions from Barry’s Bootcamp and boutique boxing studio Kobox – the event was designed to help visitors focus on their performance, and challenge the traditional gym experience.

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© itsaldnthing.com

What we love:

This definitely challenges the traditional idea of a workout! We love how the experience has been expertly curated to help you reach your maximum performance in a fun and unique way. The blockbuster of workouts, the brand continues to collaborate with the best partners to ensure the experience is one not to be missed – any participant would walk away with an abundance of endorphins and bragging rights to match! Is this the future for fitness?


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