MA Studies > Interior design > Interior design alumnus > Lili Lu

Lili Lu

New trend of Retail Design -- Pop-up Store

New trend of Retail Design -- Pop-up Store

Under the background of rapid development of retail industry, retail design plays a significant role in the fields of commercial space design in the modern world. It is also becoming one of the most challenging areas of interior architecture. The diversification of consumption environment leads to the increasingly high demands aiming at consumption space.

Besides adding some stories and scenarios into shopping experience, there are some particular mechanisms in place for promoting a new concept or to consolidate a brand experience on the global market, such as concept stores and flagship stores. Retailers attempt to find new ways to enter different competitive market. Meanwhile, a “pop-up store” phenomenon which looks like a derivative of guerrilla marketing is currently fast growing in retail market. It lasts no longer than a year in any locations, even only in several days, and its interior remains true to the host building’s former use, attempts to act as an attraction for young, edgy and style-conscious groups by social media, rather than by conventional advertising. Most of them are added by some exhibitions and events, or participated by artists or social celebrities. So I am very interested in this phenomenon and try to find that how to create a pop-up store in my next studies.

Eva Godel, creator of Comme des Garcons pop-up store in Cologne, described pop-up store is a temporary space where “people come into meet other people and discover new ideas”. The emergence of the “pop-up store” is based on the context which people are easily curious to new and transient things. Nowadays, shop interior design not only provides form of shopping environment through decoration and layout, more importantly, is to convey brand’s sprit and appealing to consumers through the interior. The whole process of design of pop-up store consist of the interaction between consumers and space, and designers and artists’ participation, can be seen as a “relationally-based, contextually-specific design”. So the pop-up store is not only designed for promoting products, but also for collecting specific consumer group by creating buzz, as a “platform” for exchanging ideas between style-conscious groups and spreading brand image. On the other hand, the pop-up store design is not simply in the field of interior design, even though in the fields of marketing, branding and sociology etc. likes a cross-discipline. 

In my design project, I am trying to find a relatively accurate definition of pop-up store which is very important and tried to find answers concerning ‘why does pop-up retail appear?’, ‘what are the design components of pop-up store?’ and ‘how to design a new meaningful pop-up store?’ because they are the core of my project research. On the other hand, inspired by the article ‘Transforming temporality’ by Marc Dubois and Japanese paper folding, I am supposed to design a ‘moveable, flexible, sustainable and economical’ structure or structures for selling products which can be adapted and built in different temporary or vacant spaces for a short term purpose by paper folding techniques.

In my research report, I am trying to exploring the answer of how the changing consumer behavior influences our shopping environment which connects with my design project very closely. In my opinion, consumer behavior has a direct impact on building brand image, re-positioning brand and introducing new marketing strategy, which in turn influence the shopping environment. A good and sufficient understanding of consumer behavior can help designers to create a better shopping environment which can stimulate people’s desire to buy and foster their adoration towards a brand. Moreover, it will give designers more insight regarding the development of modern retailing so that they can better satisfy people constantly changing demands on shopping spaces. So we must know what things consumers are seeking in a shop and which attributes are most important in terms of making a decision when they are purchasing.