THIS WEEK'S #STORESWELOVE| The saying ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ usually hints nostalgically at something that’s disappeared too soon. But when it comes to pop-up stores now dotting the retail landscape, the phrase describes something optimistic and innovative. The power of pop-ups lies in the flexibility and the sense of urgency with which they are often associated, giving customers the feeling that what they’re getting is a limited-time-only experience that can’t be replicated.
Cosmetics and buttermilk fried chicken don’t typically travel in the same circles. Until now, that is, with Beauty brand Glossier's one-month pop-up cafe takeover of San Francisco's popular deli, Rhea's Café— mingling food and beauty products. Completely refurbished, Glossier's version of Rhea's Cafe is painted powder pink and lavender, playing a subtle homage to traditional San Francisco architecture.
The deli counter was repurposed with vanity stations for make-up application, with chefs battering and frying chicken just behind the mirrors and stacks of Priming Moisturizer and Lash Slick. Glossier products are displayed throughout the store available for testing and purchase.
The menu is limited during the pop-up, serving popular items that include the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich. Even better: every purchase comes wrapped in special packaging as a sort of makeup lover's memorabilia to visiting the space.
As a brand, Glossier has mostly operated in an online capacity with the recent addition of a showroom in New York. Now, the company is expanding its reach from cult online-only status to real life activations. It's a natural move for the brand, whose following has been credited to its Instagram presence and the community it fosters on the social platform.
In addition to creating buzz around viral, experience-driven moments have proven to be a way for digital-only brands to create a space to interact with younger audiences. Such partnerships follow a trend in the retail industry, which aims to capitalise on the advantages of physical as opposed to virtual stores.