TikTok goes to the mall

Discussion
Photo: @alicerubik via Twenty20
Jul 23, 2021

TikTok is opening a pop-up shop at the Westfield London mega-mall to enable fans to interact with star influencers and learn how to create their own mini-films.

The 4,000-square-foot space represents the short-form video app’s first “For You House” and showcases the platform’s personalized feed.

Open from July 22 to August 8, the pop-up will offer bookable experiences across four rooms:

  • The Living Room is the hub of the House, showing the power of editing.
  • The Kitchen will showcase viral recipes and cook offs.
  • The Dressing Room will host beauty, fashion and transformation challenges.
  • The Garden will teach sports tips, tricks and dance routines.

TikTok stars based in the U.K. across fashion, food and sport will offer $7.00 sessions explaining how to make content for TikTok. Trust and safety sessions will be held for parents.

The opening comes as shopping centers are increasingly seeking entertainment concepts to counter the loss of traffic caused by the accelerated shift to e-commerce. Social media platforms are also increasingly influencing discovery. A recent Adweek-Morning Consult survey found 49 percent of TikTok users had purchased a product or service from a brand after seeing it advertised, promoted or reviewed on the platform.

At Westfield Mall of the Netherlands, a “social media museum,” called Youseum, recently opened allowing guests to create Instagram and TikTok content across 30 installations for about $17, but dedicated spaces supporting social media are rare.

“TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon,” said Harita Shah, the marketing director for UK events at Westfield’s parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, in a statement. “It’s where many of our visitors are getting their inspiration from, whether that’s fashion trends, the newest home styling influencer or foodie fads. Having a physical space at Westfield London gives TikTok the chance to immerse shoppers and new creators in full 360 experience where the best of the online platform merges with a real-life experience.”

Holly Harrison, fashion and retail brand partnerships, TikTok, added, “The experience of video and retail are becoming increasingly intertwined.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of TikTok’s “For You House” and the potential for bringing more of the social media experience to retail? In what ways can physical stores better tap the product discovery increasingly taking place on social media?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Brilliant union of media and 'merch' to entice Gen Z shoppers – and their social networks. "
"TikTok can instantly makes the mall a social hangout again. And the new nickname for those hanging out will be…?"
"Spaces – and experiences – designed for social media moments are fast becoming table stakes for retailers in many categories."

Join the Discussion!

4 Comments on "TikTok goes to the mall"


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Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

Spaces – and experiences – designed for social media moments are fast becoming table stakes for retailers in many categories. The options are limited only by our imagination, and empowering local store staff to get involved and get creative is a great way to integrate local culture and customs. This opportunity is yet another powerful example of a tangible competitive advantage that stores bring against pure-play retailers.

Lisa Goller
BrainTrust

Brilliant union of media and “merch” to entice Gen Z shoppers – and their social networks. Gen Z consumers are the new Steven Spielberg for their cohort and retailers that adapt to video will win.

From fitness to fashion, thoughtful retailtainment reflects younger shoppers’ habits and lifestyles. Interacting with influencers creates buzzworthy experiences. It also fuels user-generated content, driving sales and building trust.

To stay competitive, physical stores can enliven their marketing with unique experiential retail (live fashion shows, Champagne bars, beauty makeovers). Livestreaming, shoppable content, collaborations with influencers, in-store specials and solid local marketing can also help retailers stand out online with a distinct assortment and experience.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

Malls used to be social hangouts. We even coined the term “mall rats” at one point. TikTok can instantly makes the mall a social hangout again. And the new nickname for those hanging out will be…?

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

If you needed further proof of the importance of physical spaces and stores to retail — this is it. TikTok comes to stores to teach you how to best use social commerce! It’s a win-win-win for the shopping center, for TikTok, and for consumers. Expect to see more of this in the future!

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Brilliant union of media and 'merch' to entice Gen Z shoppers – and their social networks. "
"TikTok can instantly makes the mall a social hangout again. And the new nickname for those hanging out will be…?"
"Spaces – and experiences – designed for social media moments are fast becoming table stakes for retailers in many categories."

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