Pop up shops are small, temporary selling spaces that can put a retailer's product assortment in front of shoppers in a place where it has no stores. Other retailers run them, but Target has a knack for dropping them down where they can, and do, get attention.
It's latest pop-up effort is call the Target To-Go shop, and it has opened one each at Gansevoort and Washington Streets in New York's Greenwich Village, Mint Plaza between Market and Mission streets in downtown San Francisco and M Street NW and Wisconsin Ave. in Washington D.C. All three are vibrant locations that provide Target with cachet and the ability to make an impression on hip consumers.
The To-Go shops were developed to take some of the hassle out of holidays for harried urbanites and feature toys, gadgets, home decor, beauty and fashion. They also wisely showcase some of Target's exclusive designer offerings, such as gift wrap from Marcel Wanders, beauty items from Sonia Kashuk and fashions from Rodarte.
To help generate excitement, the To-Go shops will put the Rodarte stylings out in front of consumers a week before the fashion collection hits the company's stores on Dec. 20. And the company knows that the fashion media will pop in for a quick story about the Rodarte for Target roll out. In fact, New York magazine already has Target's Rodarte look book â€" which provides a preview of the fashions â€" on its website along with a link to an article that tells Gothamites all about how they can get the goods at the To-Go shop.
Brevity is another excitement generating element when it comes to Target pop-ups. The To-Go shops will operator for three days only â€" and doesn't that sound like a sales event â€" Dec. 11 to 13, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Target may have taken it on the nose a bit this holiday season, having to match Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN) promotions on books and DVDs, but you have to hand it to the company, it knows how to generate a lot of attention for itself with a relatively minimal effort, and one that at least generates sales to help with the direct costs. Indirectly, it reinforces the company's long link to low-cost fashion, the one that makes people twist the pronunciation of its name into a mock-French ending.
Target pop-ups don't just occur around the holidays. In it's fourth quarter conference call in February, as transcribed by SeekingAlpha, Kathryn Tesija, the company's executive vp of merchandising, couldn't help but bring up how "excited" the company was "to kick off our first design collaboration with fashion icon, Alexander McQueen and his edgy McQ for Target collection, which launched with [a] pop-up store during Fashion Week in New York."
This certainly won't be the last pop-up store Target launches and this probably won't be the last time you hear about the To-Go operations over the next 10 days or so. Walmart may have the muscle, but Target knows how to generate the media.