pop Pittsburgh up

20 January 2010

Over the last 5 years the phenomenon of pop up stores exploded. Pop ups are places that open their doors for just a few days or a few weeks at a time. By condensing their life to a short-lived 3 – 7 days, they intensify the buzz around them. People will flock to a pop up because if they don’t they will miss it.

The trend has morphed even further with retailers such as Proenze Schouler, an upscale designer, the uber-chic discount store Target, the stodgy giant Wal-mart and even the U.S. Potato Board implementing this marketing strategy. The New York Times wrote about pop up galleries in New York emerging rapidly because in these economic times, as landlords recognize, any sort of activity is better than no activity. And so they give away storefronts rent free.

There is an opportunity here. If businesses can use pop up stores to create a buzz, why can’t cities? This is where cityLAB’s first experiment fits in. We are going to pop Pittsburgh up in some other cities, with an audience most receptive to migrating to Pittsburgh. The theme for these pop ups will highlight Pittsburgh’s best assets and those most likely to positively influence the audience we seek.  Authentic, funky, real Pittsburgh will be portrayed in these pop ups, whether they display the interior of an inexpensive Victorian Pittsburgh house or a Waffle Shop show, with waffles to go.

We are building the experiment right now. More to come …

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