Shop 'Til You Drop at Stores that Pop Up
It's just a temporary thing (like the holidays) at these hot spots in six cities.
Unusual offerings at Artists & Fleas, New York.
There's no place like home for the holidays. And there's no time for a pop-up store like the holidays, either. You've seen them -- a savvy store large or small, briefly occupying a vacant retail space in a high-traffic area. In fact, they've become so ubiquitous that the only thing temporary about the trend is the shop's duration.
"Temporary stores are becoming a permanent part of our retail distribution," said Christina Norsig, CEO of PopUpInsider, an online exchange for companies seeking temporary real estate. "It's a faster-paced retail environment and a way to get consumers excited about the products," she told CNBC in October.
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From express versions of large retailers like Toys R Us and Target to boutiques and individual craftsmen, these holiday-only shops are popping up faster than Pop-Tarts out of your toaster -- and disappearing just as quickly. To help you take advantage of the unique and limited-edition wares many holiday pop-ups have to offer, we've rounded up some of the more popular and unusual ones in cities where the trend has taken off. Just get there before the ultimate limited edition--the store--is gone.
Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store
In Manhattan, the home of the pop-up phenomenon, there's stiff competition in the holiday pop-up market. Central locations house a variety of individual pop-ups; in some cases hundreds of vendors set up shop during the holidays, like Bryant Park, Union Square, Columbus Circle, Grand Central Station, Chelsea Market and, this year for the first time, South Street Seaport. Magazines have gotten into the act in recent years as well: Wired (this year in Times Square), Real Simple (just six days at Bryant Park) and GQ (also mere days, with the men's clothing site Park & Bond in the Meatpacking District) have sprouted temporary retail outlets sporting holiday gifts that win high marks from shoppers. (The popular Cool Hunting has no pop-up store this year, instead offering shoppers a gift guide online.)
Some shops are going different places for the holidays this year: Boerum Hill-based Annie's Blue Ribbon, a modern-day country general store popping up this year in Greenwich, Conn. (last year it was on the Upper West Side), gets raves for the majority of its offerings being under $50, and Artists and Fleas, the popular Brooklyn-based purveyor of vintage and handmade products, is making its first foray in Manhattan at Chelsea Market in mid-December. Others are just trying to stand out against the throngs of other pop-ups. For eye candy as well as stylish ski and rain coats, get down to Prince and Mulberry streets in NoLIta, where sports gear-maker Aether has opened its pop-up in the form of a refurbished Airstream, dubbed the Aetherstream. For real candy, don't miss the Dylan's Candy Bar pop-up at 42nd and Sixth Avenue, featuring a life-size gingerbread house.
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