Posts Tagged ‘retail’

Pop goes the cash register

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Photo credit: 177/Flickr

Photo credit: 177/Flickr

When supercool French music/fashion label Kitsune opens its temporary storefront in Omotesando next week, it will be the latest brand to dot Tokyo’s cityscape with a pop-up shop, those small, ephemeral retail venues that hip brands erect in high-traffic hot spots. The idea of a pop-up retail is usually to generate buzz and give the unsuspecting consumers who stumble onto the place the illusion of inside knowledge. Pop-up stores frequently sell limited-edition goods, as well, so an added exclusivity is built right in.

Last year saw a number of successful campaigns: Louis Vuitton built an underground lair in Ikebukuro while Ace Hotel set up an enclave inside Isetan Department store. Brand [RED] set up shop inside Harajuku’s Gap outlet while forward-thinking architecture firm, Klein Dytham, designed a temporary gallery, bar and livehouse at the top of the H&M building for Vitamin Water’s Japan launch.

Pop-up retail has been around for a while. Long enough, in fact, that scenesters like Kitsune now feel they need to differentiate themselves for the concept. They’re also incorporating locally-made materials, which will add value for many of Japan’s shopaholics. Some say the pop-up shop idea is played out, or rather becoming common enough to lose its edge. Fine with me. Perhaps it’s time for the pop-up shop to go family friendly.

Japan’s Uniqlo bent on world domination, reasonably priced socks

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Back in 2001, an up-and-coming retailer from Hiroshima opened a branch of its reasonably priced wares in the swank Ginza district. Even then people considered this a bold move by Uniqlo, whose casual, utilitarian fashions were considered unworthy of high street. Now fast forward to the present: Uniqlo’s Ginza Flagship just had a makeover, the company recently posted a 31% sales jump and branches are popping up all over, including flagship stores in New York and Paris. The founder and new “Maestro of Cool,” Tadashi Yanai, is the richest man in Japan.

What have they done so right?

Continue reading about Tadashi Yanai and Uniqlo →

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