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Why pop-up stores are in fashion?

Pop-up art events… Pop-up fashion events… Pop-up stores…

I thought it was events or occasion to eat popcorn… and I love popcorn especially sweet caramel popcorn! They are made out of corn having kernels that upon exposure to heat burst open to form a white starchy mass. Unfortunately, I have no caramel popcorn recipe for you, but instead, I want to know more why “pop-up” refers to someone or something that appear in an unexpected place or situation…

With the experience of event designer Philip Handford and Al Hong we unpack for you’re the recipe of pop-up store trends.

Philip Handford is a designer and a maker who has a vast experience as a Creative Director and an award winning retail design agency. His motto is to integrate brand experiences through interior, brand and digital design. 

Al Hong is the founder and Managing Director of K-Style Lab Limited a coretailing platform that introduces unique and alluring brands, mainly from Korea, but also from other parts of the world, to Hong Kong. Inside Retail has selected his realizations as one of Top 50 Innovative Retailers in Hong Kong in 2018. 

We spent some time with these two artists to understand what lies behind the trendy fashion of pop-up stores. Time to learn something!

流行趨勢 – 為什麼快閃店會在時尚的饗宴中出現?


我還以為是吃爆米花的地方或場所……….我喜歡爆米花,尤其是甜焦糖爆米花 它們由玉米粒製成,玉米粒在暴露於熱時破裂,形成白色澱粉狀團塊。不幸的是,我沒有焦糖爆米花食譜,但是,我想知道更多為什麼“快閃店”是指出現在意想不到的地方或情況下的某人或某物…

憑藉活動設計師Philip HandfordAl Hong的經驗,我們為您打開了快閃店趨勢的秘訣

Philip Handford是一位設計師和製造商,在擔任創意總監以及屢獲殊榮的零售設計機構方面擁有豐富的經驗 他的座右銘是通過內部,品牌和影像設計整合品牌導向的體驗

Al HongK-Style Lab Limited的創始人兼董事總經理,K-Style Lab Limited是一個共同零售平台,該平台將主要來自韓國,但也來自世界其他地區的獨特而誘人的品牌引入香港 Inside Retail已將他的成就選為2018年香港50大創新零售商之一。

我們與這兩位藝術家一起坐下來討論了一會兒時間,以了解快閃店的時尚背後故事的原因 該學點東西了


Philip Handford, comes from Falmouth, Cornwall a remote and beautiful town in the southwest UK. He has spent most of his adult life in London, but also travelled the world. In 2017 he decided with his partner and their two children to move as a family from Falmouth to Shanghai in search of adventure… Guess what happened next?

Philip Handford來自英國西南部偏遠而美麗的康沃爾郡法爾茅斯Falmouth, Cornwall 他的大部分成年生活都在倫敦度過,但也走遍了世界 2017,他決定與他的伴侶和他們的兩個孩子一起搬家,從法爾茅斯到上海找尋冒險……猜猜接下來發生了什麼

How do you see Shanghai, what is your impression in general and how does the city appears to you in terms of design and interior design compared to a European city?  

I have been travelling to Shanghai since 2011 but it was always for short business trips so the city was still somewhat a mystery to me when we moved here. My first impression of Shanghai was a city of extremes, a city of huge contrasts, between the intimate scale ‘long tang’ lanes across the city with local life to the tall buildings of Pudong. The bright colored sports cars parked in Xinle Lu being passed by the husband and wife on a old electric 3 wheeler bike collecting cardboard to sell. This world of contrast is the result of the pace of change that has happened here. This can also be seen in the shops between the big tech enabled flagships stores of Nike house of innovation, and the little old juice store, which consists of a pomegranate press, and a pile of fruit.  

The world of design is also in a fascinating state of flux in Shanghai. There is a dramatic state of change, from ‘made in china’ to ‘created in china’ being supported by the Government: this seismic shift is having an impact on the world. The influence of Chinese design on technology, fashion, retail, product design is in my view going to be profound, we are the tipping point of a shift in world innovation and business leadership.


我自2011年以來一直在在上海旅遊,但總是短途出差,所以當我們搬到這裡時,這個城市對我來說仍然有些神秘。 我對上海的第一印像是一個極端的城市,一個形成鮮明對比的城市,在這個私密規模的唐唐大道上與對面浦東高層建築之間生活,停在新樂路上的鮮豔跑車正駛過一對收集及販賣紙板的老夫妻的老電動三輪車。這種對比的世界是隨著時間發生步伐變化的結果。可以看到石榴壓榨機和一堆水果組成的小舊果汁店並排停靠著在Nike創新大廈的大型科技旗艦店之間 

在上海,設計界也處於一種迷人的變化之中 從“中國製造”到“中國創造”並得到政府的支持,這種巨大的變化狀態正在對世界產生影響 在我看來,中國設計對技術,時尚,零售,產品設計的影響將是深遠的,我們是世界創新和商業領導力轉變的轉折點

As an artistic designer, you create experiential interiors. Can you tell us more?  

I have always been very passionate about Art and specifically installation art, I find it very inspiring being inside the art piece, discovering an idea in a visceral way. Inspired by the likes of Olafur ElliasonAnish Kapoor, Do Ho SuhThomas Heatherwick. From a teenager I wanted to an architect, so the idea of combining these passions for installation art and designing space led me to designing branded spaces. I have always thought stores are very boring places, and have been inspired by the idea of creating a new type of store as a space where you can discover new experiences, ideas, and products. Have you heard of the term ‘retail theatre’ well how often do you experience it?

作為一名藝術設計師,您可以創造並體驗室內設計 你能告訴我們更多嗎

我一直對藝術和特別是裝置藝術充滿熱情,我發現在看一件藝術作品中非常鼓舞人心,以內心的方式呈現一個想法 受到Olafur ElliasonAnish KapoorDo Ho SuhThomas Heatherwick等人的啟發 從青少年時期開始,我就想成為一名建築師,因此將這些激情與裝置藝術和設計空間相結合,這個想法使我設計了品牌空間 我一直認為商店是非常無聊的地方,受到創造一種新型商店的想法的啟發,作為一個空間,您可以發現新的體驗,想法和產品 您是否經常聽說過“零售劇院”一詞(retail theater零售劇院是商店中的展示,非常具有戲劇性,藝術性和創造性,它是故意設計使購物娛樂用途)

What are the works that you have done in China for brands or for exhibitions?

I have worked all over the world from LA, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Shanghai to Melbourne. The work I have done in China ranges from flagship stores for Burberry in Beijing, to an art installation for Wallpaper Magazine. I have also designed a large holographic fashion show installations for Dunhill, a 5-story flagship store in Wuxi for a Chinese brand called Youngor.


我在世界各地工作過,從洛杉磯,紐約,倫敦,巴黎,羅馬,上海到墨爾本 我在中國所做的工作包括北京的Burberry旗艦店,以及Wallpaper Magazine的藝術裝置 我還為無錫的一家名為Youngor的中國品牌登喜路設計了一個大型全息圖時裝秀,這是一家位於無錫的5層旗艦店。

As you work with brands, can you tell us what is your understanding of Chinese / Shanghainese consumers and their attitude toward brands? 

The Chinese consumer is something of an anomaly globally there are a lot of articles and speculations about the new young Chinese consumer groups, millennial, Gen ‘z’ and now the Generation Alpha. The difference here in shanghai is this next generation are more tech savvy that’s for sure, even tech obsessed, the acceptance of ordering product and lunch on your phone is totally normal.  WechatTaobaoEluma. This is widely understood, however there also seems to be a desire to engage in pop ups that is quite unique here, what I mean is the Shanghainese desire to play in a game as part of an event or pop up shows a side of the mind state that is not shy of being on show, this can be seen also in the selfie moments, Shanghainese people are not shy of having a selfie taken whilst wearing a jumpsuit and jumping into a swimming pool of colorful foam cubes. In fact I wonder if the selfie is the reason people are prepared to expose themselves, or is it the inner desire to stand-out in a world where society is becoming more increasingly private.


中國消費者在全球範圍內是一種異常現象關於新的中國年輕消費群體,千囍世代,Gen’z’以及現在的一代是當道者。上海的不同之處在於,下一代更加精通技術,這是肯定的,甚至科技痴迷,接受在手機上訂購產品和午餐是完全正常的。微信 (Wechat)淘寶 (Taobao)洗腦 (Eluma)。這是廣泛而且可以理解的。然而,似乎也有一種願景非常想參與這樣獨特的快閃行動,我的意思是上海人希望在比賽中參加比賽,或快閃它本身露出一種不羞於展示的心態的一面。這也可以在自拍照上看到,上海人在穿著連身衣跳進彩色泡沫立方體游泳池時並不羞於拍照。事實上,我想知道是因為自拍照而讓人們去揭露自己的外皮的原因,還是當社會變得越來越私人化時這是否是一個在世界中脫穎而出的內在願望?

For some years now, pop up stores have became more and more popular. Can you give us your definition of a pop up store and do you think it is an interesting concept suitable to a new generation of consumers?

Well pop up started back in 2004 with Rei Kawakubo, Dover street market in London. The fundamental idea of pop up is built around creativity and expressing an idea, a brand, or story in an installation that is momentary. Its the temporary nature that allows the room for a bold creative statement. So as the influence of technology and changing consumer habits, and the experience economy, (see Pine and Gilmore) is evolving, the room for more bold creative expression in our stores is increasing. Take a look at Gentle monster for an example of pop up as a store design strategy. In my opinion the next generation of retail will be built around the ethos of pop up, but also coupled with technology to create, customizable, highly creative retail spaces, closer to theatre than a traditional store. The reason why the new generation will find this inspiring because it primarily offers something new to experience, coupled with the fact this is physical, the qualities of material, color, light, smell, rich content, can make this a memorable experience that is the missing part of there increasingly digital 2D lives.


快閃店是與Rei Kawakubo2004年倫敦的Dover Street開始的。快閃店基本的思想是圍繞創造力建立的,並在瞬間以裝置表達想法,品牌或故事。它帶來的臨時性使得房間有了大膽的創造力可以去執行。因此,隨著技術的影響和消費者習慣的改變,體驗經濟(看看PineGilmore)正在發展,我們在商店中更大膽的增加創意表達空間。看看Gentle monster做為商店設計策略快閃店的一個例子。在我看來,零售業的下一代將圍繞快閃店的精神,而且還結合技術創造,可定制,高度創造性的零售空間,比傳統商店更接近劇院。年輕一代的族群之所以會發現這一點令人鼓舞,因為它主要是為了體驗新事物,再加上這是有關心理學的,材料的質量,顏色,光線,氣味,豐富的內容,可以讓這成為一次難忘的經歷體驗,而這是數位2D越來越缺乏的部分。

There is a war to attract consumers. How brands can distinguish themselves in this world to attract them, as traditional advertising is clearly not enough and maybe out of date for the trendy brands and the new way of consuming.

I like to think about retail space a ‘architectural advertising’ think of the store space as walk in advert. Now that sounds very manipulative, but what you have in a physical space is the opportunity for Brands to give consumers, an experience, that could have real meaning to the consumer, be it inspired, through, discover and learning, creativity, competition, where we as consumers can start to inform the brands on what we want. By engaging the consumer we can start to allow them to inform brands choices and actions. The changes the consumer to a prosumer, and very quickly can start to change the rules of retail, as consumers seek brands to be more responsible. This could be a change for good in world of over consumption, could brands start to offer the experience as the product instead of just the product itself to satisfy our need for new.

有一場戰爭吸引著消費者。 這些品牌如何在這個世界中脫穎而出以吸引他們,因為傳統廣告顯然不夠給力,它可能是已經過時了的時尚品牌或者它是新的消費方式。


Shanghai is a huge city. How do we “exist” as individuals in such a big city focused on consumerism and uniformity dictated by brands? 

As individuals we need a space for creativity, self-recognition, participation and ultimately entertainment. ‘Humans are experience seeking animals that constantly look to fulfill their own curiosity ’ Phycology today.

上海是一個巨大的城市。 在這樣一個以品牌為主導的消費主義和統一性的大城市中,我們如何以一個個體而” 存在 ”?


Al Hong is the founder of K-Style Lab. With over 20 years of experience in retail store development in Korea & Greater China, Al has a unique view about the fascinating trends related to the emergence and success of “pop-up store”.
To better understand why this phenomenon is a new disruptive trend in Art & Fashion, we had a great conversion with this key influencer…

Al HongK-Style Lab的創始人 憑藉在韓國和大中華區零售店開發方面20多年的經驗,Al對於與“快閃店pop-up store”的出現和成功擁有相關迷人趨勢獨特的見解

How would you describe K-Style Lab the company you founded?

K-Style Lab is a co-retailing platform that introduces unique and alluring brands, mainly from Korea, but also from other parts of the world, to Hong Kong. Featuring fashion, beauty, accessories, and lifestyle 
products that are relevant to customers in the trade area where each pop-up stores are located. In 2018, Inside Retail selected K-Style Lab among the Top 50 Hong Kong Innovative Retailers.

您如何描述您創立的公司K-Style Lab

K-Style Lab是一個聯合零售平台,引入獨特和誘人的品牌,主要來自韓國,但也來自世界其他地區,到香港 擁有時尚,美容,配飾和生活方式品,這些品與每個快閃店所在的貿易區域的客相關2018年,Inside Retail選擇K-Style Lab躋身香港創新零售商50強之列。

In 2019, what is a store or a boutique for you? 

A STORE used to act like STORAGE, where you store enough inventory and sell them as fast as you can.  But STORE today is not just a point of sales, but it needs to tell the brand STORY.   Today the store must be a collection of ‘stories.’  

2019年,什麼是商店 (store) 或精品店 (boutique) 


In 2019 how would define is a pop-up store? 

A pop-up is basically a temporary store that serves multi-purposes. It can be an alternative sales channel, a beta testing lab for brands, facilitates customer feedbacks, affirms brands’ marketing strategies, and connects online retailers to physical retail spaces.


快閃店基本上是一個臨時儲存的商店,可用於多種用途 它可以是替代銷售渠道,品牌beta評估的測試實驗室,促進客反饋,確認品牌營銷策略,並將在線零售商與實體零售空間連接起來

Any idea on where this term pop-up comes from? What’s the concept behind? 

In the beginning, pop-up stores were just temporary stores aim to sell more products.  But it became multi-purpose retail vehicle.  Pop-up does not only serve retail brands, but it can be artist pop-up, food pop-up, insurance pop-up, you name it, you can do any pop-up.  It is also a part of sharing economy trend (e.g. Uber, Rent-a-Runway, Airbnb), instead of staying at one place for a long time, branding pop-up can be more effective if you can move around to different locations.


一開始,快閃店只是臨時商店,旨在銷售更多 但它成了多功能零售的出口。快閃店不僅可以為零售品牌提供服務,還可以是藝術家快閃店,食品快閃店,保險快閃店,您可以選擇不同的快閃店。 它也是共享經濟趨勢的一部分例如UberRent-a-Runwayairbnb),而不是長時間呆在一個地方,如果你可以移動到不同的地方,品牌因為快閃而達成宣傳的效應可能更有效

Could you please tell us since when the pop-up store have been developing? 

The very first pop-up stores opened in 1298 at Vienna Christmas market where a marketplace opened every December for two weeks.  The concept of pop-up has been there all along, but now it has become an important retail channel that sit in the center of omni-channel retail.


第一家快閃店是於1298年在維也納聖誕市場開業,市場每年12月開業兩週。 快閃店的概念一直存在,但現在它已經成為一個重要的零售渠道,坐落在全渠道零售的中心

Why the pop-store is so much in fashion right now?   

Because physical stores nowadays don’t necessarily have to be permanent stores.  In the past, brands focused on expanding POS (points-of-sales) in order to increase sales.  But with multi-channel opportunity (e.g. online, social media, eDM, etc.) physical stores are now serving the customers as POE (points of experience).


因為現在的實體店不一定是永久性商店 在過去,品牌專注於擴大POS銷售點以增加銷售 但是,通過多渠道機會例如,在線,社交媒體,eDM),實體店現在作為POE經驗點為客服務

In fashion, art, is the popup store a success story?




In terms of branding, could you please share with us what are the benefits of setting a pop-up store concept?  

Pop-up for branding is not just for store itself, but it can be utilized as advertisements, social media viral campaigns, etc.  This is the best branding pop-up I have ever seen.  https://youtu.be/gYG2x0J8wYY  



In your role, what’s the best advice you can provide to a brand to work out on this concept of pop-up store? 

Pop-up needs to go hand-in-hand with a great marketing campaign.  Need to create FOMO (fear of missing out) in order to drive more customers to your pop-up.  Pop-up is a temp store, so great pre-opening buzz and diligent post pop-up follow-up is vital to its success.


快閃店需要與強大的營銷活動齊頭並進 需要創建FOMOfear of missing out以便吸引更多客來您的快閃店 快閃店Pop-up是一個臨時商店,因此震耳開業前嗡嗡聲和勤奮的後期快閃跟進對其成功至關重要

How do you see retail business from 10 years from now? 

It will become more customers centric.  Traditional brand flagship stores will lose their luster and stores that provide great experience through right curating, collaboration, and stories will become the place to be.  A store that is a community center!


它將成為更加以客為中心 傳統品牌旗艦店將失去光彩,通過正確的策展,協作和系列故事提供良好體驗的商店將成為理想之選 一家社區中心型態的商店

A last word, how e-commerce and technology pair up with the concept of pop-up store? Any views to share?   

If you look around in retail industry today, most of the up and coming brands are “Digitally Native Vertical Brands”.  They are socially conscious brands that started online.  But these online brands are starting to connect with their customers’ offline and many of them through pop-up stores.  So traditional retailers are going online and digitally native brands are going offline, both pursuing omni channel retail.

最後一個問題,電子商務和技術如何與快閃店商店的概念配對? 有意見可以分享嗎

如果你今天環顧零售業,大多數新興品牌都是“數字原生代垂直品牌”(“Digitally Native Vertical Brands”就是指誕生於網路,但同時也做線下銷售的品牌。他們為我們提供了品牌在國內的銷售資料。比如我們可以知道某時某地有某位顧客花了多少錢、買了哪些商品。當然這些都是匿名的。然後,我們就能基本掌握遍佈全美的購買者足跡。) 他們是從網上開始的具有社會意識的品牌。 但這些在線品牌開始與客戶的線下連接。 其中很多都是通過快閃店。因此,傳統零售商正在追求網路銷售,數字原生代品牌也將開始脫機,兩者都在追求全渠道零售


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