Do pop-up efforts make sense for subscription box services?
In brick-and-mortar retail, one of the biggest recent trends has been the emergence of stores that host a rotating lineup of pop-ups. In online retail, subscription boxes have become popular. Now one store is combining the two trends — at least for its opening quarter.
Pop Box is a permanent pop-up venue in Lincoln Park, Chicago, according to Hoodline, that rotates its lineup of retailers every quarter. The store’s first installation consists of 16 online-only subscription box e-tailers, including PupJoy, The Runnerbox, Moustache Coffee Club, Mystery Tackle Box (fishing) and Home Chef (a meal kit startup which recently began selling through Walmart.com). In-store events in conjunction with some of the brands have been taking place since Pop Box’s opening in late October.
Birchbox, which focuses on beauty, is by all indications the only subscription box service with its own physical store, a location in lower Manhattan opened in July 2014.
There’s an apparent synergy between the subscription box model and that of the revolving pop-up store — both offer built-in variety and excitement to customers.
While Pop Box may be the first such store to start off with a focus on subscription boxes, a few rotating multi-pop-up retailers have appeared this year.
In Detroit, for instance, a tech accelerator opened a retailer with a rotating lineup of local retail pop-ups. And in Long Island, a mall launched Edit@Roosevelt Field, a 3,500 square-foot space with a rotating lineup of online-only brands.
Even brands with their own outlets have begun to see value in overhauling the store experience every few months. In the King of Prussia Mall, Timberland opened an experiential store called Tree Lab. The store’s gallery-like setting swaps out themes every six weeks, entirely changing the store’s look, feel and product selection to match.
Pop Box’s subscription box installation ends in late December and it’s unknown whether the next round of retailers will include more subscription box providers.
- New Lincoln Park pop-up shop Pop Box opens its doors – Hoodline
- Will meal kits be a hit on Walmart’s virtual shelves? – RetailWire
- Brands – Pop Box
- New pop-up concept is a capital idea – RetailWire
- Will Timberland climb to greater heights behind new experiential concept? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is having subscription box services a good theme for Pop Box’s first lineup of pop-ups? What other themes might work to follow the first one with, and should subscription services play a role there?