Talk about try before you buy. The home decor industry on its own is an easy one for getting away with ‘living online’. You see, you like, you click, you buy, you put it up – and it looks great! But furniture, that becomes a bit trickier, and seeing how these two industries tend to go hand in hand, with each brand who focuses on one, leaking into the other, it’s no wonder home decor and furniture pop-ups have been ‘popping’ up everywhere this year. Digitally native furniture brands are testing the market as to the satisfaction of their consumers who rely on reviews and don’t necessarily get to sit on the couch before it makes it to the living room, or touch the comforter their bodies will be wrapped in for months to come. By offering temporary pop-up locations these brands were able to test the market, get real time reviews, and engage with their audience while they interact with the products. So let’s see who made the list.
Goal: Collaboration sales (collab with Virgil Abloh)
Location: Paris, France
When: September 2018
Ikea collaborated with designer Virgil Abloh in 2018 to create limited edition rugs exclusively available at their Fall pop-up shop in Paris. This is the first stop of 4 international cities where the collaboration will pop-up for limited edition sales under the shop name “STILL LOADING”. The collection consists of 4 different rug designs not to be included in the full MARKERAD collection set to launch in 2019. “These items are made in a limited number and together with the thinking behind each rug I believe they can become art pieces you put on the wall just as much as functional objects in a home. Like, “Hey! I own this coveted piece” says Virgil Abloh about the collab with IKEA.
Goal: Build brand awareness nationwide
Location: Dallas, Aspen and Sag Harbor, USA
2018 was the 10 year anniversary of the launch of actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand ‘Goop’, and with a big birthday like that, the brand didn’t hold back in their cross country pop-up spree. From Dallas, to Aspen, to Sag Harbor, the brand that embodies everything from healthy eating and lifestyle choices, to fashion and home decor made segue into becoming an everyday household brand name. Goop commissioned designers such as Kate McCollough and Max Zinser of KMZ NY to curate unique interiors, specific to each location using vintage furniture and fixtures. Products for sale within each pop-up differed, including Paltrow’s picks in addition to interior goods from local artisans and companies. Items included decor components like candle sticks, blankets, baskets, pillows, and more.
Goal: To transition from a digitally native brand to physical locations
Location: Debenhams department stores in Westfield, Birmingham and Manchester, UK
When: Spring & Summer 2018
Headed to the high street for the first time, French interior decor and furniture store Maison Du Monde has partnered with Debenhams across the UK to launch an in-store pop-up shop, showcasing their products for the first time ‘in the flesh’ to the British public. “The Maisons du Monde departments will sell a selection of decorative items and small furnishings” says House Beautiful of the new endeavor. In a grand attempt to position themselves as industry thought leaders and on-trend on the furniture and home decor scene, Debenhams has been rather particular of their brand choices, supporting that Maison Du Monde’s effortless french style is exactly the type of digitally native brand that Debenhams need in order to remain a major player in the home furnishing industry.
Goal: Expand into the NY decor scene, Brand awareness
Location: New York City, USA
When: Fall 2018
Detroit born digitally native furniture brand Floyd has embarked on their pop-up journey by occupying a gorgeously decorated SoHo apartment in NYC. In an effort to showcase their extensive range of ‘flat-pack products’ which include bed, tables and a newly announced sofa. Laid out as if you’re entering a trendy friend’s place, the apartment is recognizable as a lived in home, giving consumers the chance to envision the items in their own homes. Among the showcase rooms, this pop-up features a room dedicated to providing insight into Floyd’s r&d process. Although the pop-up wasn’t built to provide same day sales, their unique pop-up strategy has definitely helped with brand awareness stretching beyond Detroit and into NYC, the city of compact and expensive apartments. A great place to kick-start nationwide promotion!
Goal: Establish the brand’s lifestyle voice and grow its in-house line
Location: Los Angeles, USA
When: Spring 2018
This furniture and home decor brand has a particular market, dividing their buyers down the middle as they are mainly producing furniture and decor targeted towards men. With their first LA pop-up shop, TRNK’s temporary location, coined ‘the Guesthouse’ presents the brand’s own sofa collection alongside a multitude of collaborations and special events. Although the brand is based in NYC, the LA pop-up was motivated by the promotion of their in-house line whose pieces are produced locally in LA. Dixon, one of the co-owners was quoted in saying “We’re naturally evolving into more of a design studio, and plan to release several new product lines in the coming months. You’ll also notice a visual shift in the product with more colors, patterns and textures that will be ever-changing.”
Goal: Consumer engagement & interaction, testing the physical retail market
Location: Paramus NJ, Natick MA, USA
When: Winter 2018
Resembling the frames of tiny homes, these two Wayfair pop-up shops are the first for the digitally native furniture and home decor retailer. The site is one of the largest online-only home goods retailers in the world, with over 7,700 employees and 36 million active customers, has finally decided to test their market with these simple, engaging and interactive setups. Providing Wayfair employees for consulting, and the possibility to place an order at the kiosk for next day delivery, Wayfair customers are finally granted the chance to ‘experience’ the products before they arrive on their doorstep. The setup is reminiscent of ‘rooms’, with each one representing different items that the site has to offer. The 400 Sq/ft space is equipped with a home-improvement “how-to” station, with all the fixings you need to complete renovation project, as well as over 100 choices in fabric swatches to help with any custom designs.