Rotating Pop-Up Retail – The Secret to Getting Return Visitors


Pop-up retail is a great way to attract customers. You can make it exciting for customers to visit your store by partnering with other brands and creatively displaying merchandise. Here’s the problem. One pop-up. One experience. One experience. You can make one visit into […]

Pop-up retail is a great way to attract customers. You can make it exciting for customers to visit your store by partnering with other brands and creatively displaying merchandise.

Here’s the problem. One pop-up. One experience. One experience.

You can make one visit into two. You could even do more! Pop-ups are a great way to get more people involved. There is no set rule that says you can’t stop at one. Retailers are starting to notice the trend of rotating pop-up retail. They use it to bring customers in to their stores for In-store Shopping Moments(tm), which are innovative and extremely fun.

We go round and around the carousel.

Bloomingdale’s is doing a 180 when it comes to pop ups. The Carousel is a rotating pop-up in-store at the department store’s flagship in New York City. The Carousel, unlike traditional pop-ups is not a one-time event and is not a one theme event. It changes every two months and offers a new selection of products based on a new concept.

Bloomingdale’s selected an “Urban Explorer” theme for The Carousel’s inaugural experience. They sell merchandise such as sweatshirts, sunglasses, bike helmets and water bottles, as well as sportswear. Since photograph taking is an integral part of exploration, there are Polaroid instant cameras and a prime photo op, where shoppers can pose at what appears to be the edge of a building with views of the city. What happens after the pop-up ends? It’s time for a new idea and happy customers returning for another memorable, Instagrammable moment.

They may also be more inclined to buy gifts for friends or purchase a coat before winter arrives. The Carousel is a great option for department stores like Bloomingdale’s, which have the space and permanent real estate to do it.

Some of the most successful pop ups use unlikely brand pairings, like The Carousel’s Urban Explorer. Pinch Provisions’ Minimergency Kit – a collection of beauty and hygiene products – alongside sportswear and helmets would seem a strange combination. They don’t look like they would go together at first, but when you combine them, it’s exactly what an urban explorer needs.

Telling a story

The Carousel concept isn’t new. Since 2011, STORY, a similar pop-up store concept, has drawn customers to its Chelsea location. Every four to eight week, STORY is given a complete overhaul: everything from its merchandise and fixtures to its color scheme to its merchandise.

Every rotating pop-up retail concept is known as a story. It focuses on a different topic, trend or issue. STORY partnered up with Nickelodeon for one concept. It featured merchandise featuring Nickelodeon characters as well as other 90s nostalgia. Another story used “Out of Office” as a theme to sell vacation and staycation themed merchandise.

This is a trendsetting approach that pays off. Customers come to STORY not just for a once-off visit. They return to STORY month after month, eager to discover the next concept. In fact, STORY’s in-store experiences are so popular that Macy’s purchased the retail brand to reenergize its stores.


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Pin it to win it

Are you struggling to find pop-up ideas for your business? The amazing and inspiring Pinterest is your instant resource. Pinterest is filled with ideas for everything from fashion to home renovations to DIY.

Find unique product pairings to inspire customers, beyond the traditional fall pumpkins and leaves. You can make your store futuristic by decorating it like a spaceship. Fill it with miniature planetariums and spacey teshirts.

Pinterest is more than just an idea generator. It helps you stay on top of the latest trends, especially during the holiday season. These are trends that you can use in order to create new pop-ups and bring customers into your store.

Imagine Home Depot having a dedicated pop-up section selling different merchandise each month. They could go beyond the usual tiki torch and snow blower sales. In January, herringbone tiles might become a popular trend on Pinterest. For some tongue-in-cheek fun, the rotating section could showcase ideas for bathrooms, floors and showers. Land’s End could partner with the chain to display luxurious bathrobes, slippers, and a herringbone jacket. Home Depot’s website already shouts Pinterest inspiration, don’t you think?

Many customers find that fun seasonal pop ups can make a Home Depot visit more interesting.

Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Macy’s are constantly trying to offer customers something new and impossible in a world saturated by online and mobile shopping and fueled by social media stories. This means that you need to reimagine your store over and over again in order to create unique, valuable experiences.


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