A little over a year ago, Microsoft opened 30 pop-up stores in mall locations nationwide to sell the Surface tablet over the holiday season. While the sales results on the Surface remain mixed, this foray into disruptive retail has played out well for Microsoft and given them a unique, well-branded kiosk environment to continue to sell the Surface as well as launch new offerings, such as the Kinect and Xbox One.
A few of the other tech giants, namely Google and Intel, seem to have paid notice to this move by Microsoft. This holiday season, each has chosen to enter the retail space with its own distinctly different short-term stores.
Google has opened winter-themed holiday pop-up stores, called Winter Wonderlabs in malls in Annapolis, MD, Chicago, Los Angeles, Paramus, NJ, and Sacramento. A New York City location is in Bryant Park's Winter Village.
Constructed within a tent, these winter-themed pop-up stores showcase Google's latest phones, tablets and laptops, including the Nexus 7, Chromecast and the newest line of Chromebooks. Reinforcing the winter theme will be a giant snow globe in which customers will make slow motion videos as they jump around surrounded by CGI snow. Orders will be taken in-store and delivered to a desired destination. Google's Winter Wonderlabs are expected to be open through Dec. 24.
Intel chose the hip, urban areas of NoLita (New York), Lincoln Park (Chicago) and Venice (Los Angeles) to open Intel Experience Stores. These pop-up stores aim to bring the global brand to a local audience and redefine retail as they "appeal to children, adults and everyone in-between." The locations will be staffed by Tech Xperts to answer questions about devices. The stores will partner with the local community to hold events and offer free coffee daily with free movies each Friday.
The Intel stores are designed to physically change three-times a day and the goal is for each to become whatever the community desires. Customers will be able to buy online from within the store and have product delivered to a desired location.
And finally, one of the most highly anticipated pop-up stores for every holiday season since November 2005, the Wired Store will open from Dec. 4 through Dec. 22 in New York City. The Wired Store is known for offering exploration with new technologies and gift shopping. This year's pop-up promises to be a highly-curated, social retail experience. Purchases may be made in-store or online.
Which of the pop-up concepts mentioned in the article do you find most interesting?