Brick and mortar retailers have taken major hits in recent years with more shoppers, particularly millennials and Gen Z, going online with their phones to purchase clothes and other goods instead of stepping foot in malls. But retailers can adapt to evolving shopping habits by offering pop-up experiences that encourage shoppers to visit physical locations.
Bloomingdale’s is the latest department store chain to recognize this trend, and it is fully embracing it by dedicating a large portion of its floor space to permanently host pop-up installations.
The spaces, called The Carousel, will take up over 1,000 square feet at each of four Bloomingdale’s stores in New York and California. The first themed event is called “Urban Explorer,” which launched on September 6 with massive wall video displays featuring New York City. Meanwhile, Carousel will showcase sportswear and accessories from brands that are both current and new to Bloomingdale’s. Each exhibition will be hosted for two months before switching to a new theme.
This comes shortly after Bloomingdale’s parent company Macy’s acquired the New York City experiential retail company ‘Story’ in May, appointing its founder and CEO Rachel Shechtman as brand experience officer.
Bloomingdale’s seeks to use these ongoing pop-up events to attract both locals and tourists to its stores. Plans for the spaces also include food tastings and fitness classes, and attendees can already look forward to trying out Cioccolada vegan chocolates in addition to meditation classes.
“It’ll be like a Broadway show, with limited showing,” Bloomingdale’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer Frank Berman in an interview. “That’s the sense of urgency we want to have around the space.”
The Carousel will debut in two New York City locations in addition stores in San Francisco and Century City, and will be designed to stand out as though they’re separate boutiques. If they prove successful, the installations could find their way to additional locations. Shoppers will be able to preview the experiences online from the Bloomingdale’s homepage and through related video content.