Case study: The pop-up car shop
By Simon Fuller. Retail Cubed. Pop-up stores were a highlight of last year’s festive season, with big names like Red Bull and Marmite setting up shop in London. One brand that made a splash in the capital – and elsewhere in Europe – was Japan’s Nissan, seeing a neat opportunity to promote its Cube model – then on the verge of being released – via a Cube Store.
The shop, on Brick Lane, was a collaboration with cutting-edge Parisian concept store Collette, and featured a raft of work, 60 pieces to be precise, from Japanese designers. These included kitchenware from Tate Otama and Yuento’s Music Balloon, a rechargeable USB speaker – in the shape of a balloon – which plugs into the portable music device of your choice.
The inspiration for the Cube shop stemmed mainly from the nature of the Nissan Cube, itself something of a design novelty.
“The idea for a pop-up store came from the need to position the Cube in an environment that was outside of the normal mainstream automotive,” explains Mark Kinnard, category manager for Nissan city cars and the Cube. “It also allowed us to reach a new audience and convey more messages about the product and design. The items were selected by Collette on our behalf – they chose items that reflected the Cube’s Japanese roots.”
The Cube Store wasn’t limited to being just another retail space, however. It also played host to a variety of events during its lifespan, with the focus being on the creative, fashion and art sectors. One such event was Redesigning Life, a creative forum which saw some of the UK’s experts in sustainability and cultural innovation discussing the role of culture in a sustainable future.
So why did Cube so many pop-up stores spring up towards the end of last year? The economic climate, perhaps?
“There is a degree of truth in that,” says Kinnard. “But in reality, they are just more accessible due to the amount of vacant space available. It is more to do with a strategy than accessibility or cost. The store allowed us to be more flexible with our messaging and allowed people to interact with the brand in a different way.”
The Cube Store, along with its fellows in Paris and Berlin, was open until the end of December.