- Hearst's Marie Claire magazine partnered with transaction processer Mastercard to launch the publication's first pop-up store, showcasing innovations in fashion, beauty, entertainment, technology and wellness, according to a press release. The Next Big Thing Concept Shop will be open in New York City's SoHo neighborhood until Oct. 12, and its mobile app is available on the App Store and Google Play.
- The shop is divided into three main zones named after sections in the magazine: @Work for professional looks, @Play for recreational activities and @Peak for health topics. Neiman Marcus stylists will provide style advice on the latest selection of designer fashion available at the store, and "Smart mirrors" from Oak Labs will recommend additional accessories for outfits people try on.
- Beauty brand Clarins will also present its Sensor Mirror Pro, a virtual skincare mirror developed by MemoMi, and sell cosmetics. San Francisco-based retailer b8ta will provide shoppable apparel, accessories, activewear and gadgets for store visitors.
As pop-up stores become a popular way to drive excitement without commiting to the expense of a permanent location, the Next Big Thing concept illustrates how a mobile app can be a valuable part of the formula. The Next Big Thing Concept Shop mobile app, available for iOS and Android, enables visitors to the store to make transactions from anywhere in the store, book one-on-one appointments with the Neiman Marcus fashion stylists and sign up for in-store events and activities.
With brick and mortars feeling the pinch from declining foot traffic and sales, retail marketers have been looking for ways to provide the right mix of store location, curated products and personalized service to differentiate themselves from e-commerce sites that offer low prices and convenient delivery options. Marie Claire's concept store may demonstrate a winning approach for brands looking to lure customers thanks to its personalized product recommendations and the type of real-world pampering that e-tailers simply can't offer online. This installation appears to introduce new ways for consumers to shop as well, powered by Mastercard, and points to the growing convergence of content and commerce as publishers and brands alike search out new means of consumer outreach.
As Amazon enters the grocery business with its takeover of Whole Foods Markets and starts opening brick-and-mortar stores, traditional retailers continue to experiment with new store formats. Target, Sephora and Nordstrom are among the chains that are trying out stores with smaller footprints and more mobile-driven and tech-focused experiences.
Nordstrom, the department chain with 357 stores in 40 states and Canada, announced plans to open its first "micro-concept" store in West Hollywood, CA, an experiment that in some respects mirrors Marie Claire's pop-up. The 3,000 square-foot shop is much smaller than its traditional full-line stores and won't stock shoes, clothing, cosmetics and accessories. Those products will be showcased for delivery from other locations. Instead, the smaller-format store will focus on services like tailoring, manicures, style advice and cocktails, Forbes reported.