New Pop up Stores & Retail Concepts in London

Since many mainstream brand and department stores are struggling to survive on the high street new popups, concept stores and hybrid retail spaces are emerging to show future directions.

The pop up experience

Klarna pop up store is a good example of how many emerging retail trends are combined in one brand experience. Klarna is actually a Swedish payments company that gives an opportunity to ‘Pay later’ at your favourite retailers. The pop up store brings digital shopping experience to life, featuring lots of brands and products, previously only available online.

It is a good example of more experiental retailing trend. The space is designed as a play-area for differents brands to interact with customers for trying and experiment with various treatments, looks and styles. Mood enhancing pink interiors and music are adding emotional layers to the shopping event.

The educative pop up

Selfridges Project Ocean (launched in 2011) is a long-term partnership with the Zoological Society of London to help protect precious oceans from overfishing and plastic pollution.  During the years Selfridges has consistently educated customers about environmental issues to drive positive change in shopping behaviours. Each year there has been a new theme and campaign around it.

This year plastic conscious beauty was one of the themes.

Brand townhouse concept

There have been a few brand townhouses in London, but townhouse is the first for an online company. It is an interesting hybrid space designed as a home for an imaginary couple.

The space has a retail function to try on and buy clothes and homeware objects. There is a service to order items beforehand for trying out in the store. Different floors have themes around fashion history and art to educate customers using references and unique items that are displayed in carefully edited collections (perfect for Instagram). There is also a curated cultural event program around store displays and even celebrities.

All in all it looks like a successful retail pop up or a concept store requires a lot on planning and paying attention to brand specific details.




  1. Whilst pop-ups have their place as a brand marketing tool, the need for a physical store is still vital to driving online sales. Customers still want to go to a physical store and retailers will have to look at smaller formats, smaller real estate portfolios (stores in key areas) and fight landlords and councils to get lower rents/taxes.

    Even in these changing times, we’ll see new brands entering the high-street. Older brands who’ve lost their way will be replaced by the newer fresher brands offering more of an experience to customers.

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