Toronto’s upscale Bayview Village shopping centre is launching a unique pop-up concept today that will extend for the month of September. The purpose-built 1,000 square foot space will house new tenants daily, which will range widely from fitness to food to fashion.
Bayview Village is calling the new pop-up space “The Haute Spot”, and it’s being run in partnership with The Toronto Star’s beauty and style publication, The Kit.
The pop-up includes daily activities in the space, which features furniture (which can be moved depending on the activation) as well as shelving, storage drawers, and clothing racks if needed. The decor is bright, friendly and decidedly chic, merging with the design aesthetic set out by Bayview Village’s Marketing/Style Director, Melissa Evans-Lee, who also curated the space’s shoppable “Melissa’s Musts” closet, which features a section of fall fashions sourced from a number of Bayview Village retailers.
Whimsical wallpaper, bright lighting and ample use of pink makes the space approachable and friendly, with decorated touches that include fashion-related coffee table books, art, and floral components (see photos in this article).
The pop-up is a way for a number of brands to get exposure for a short-time, and the roster of companies participating is exceptional. Toronto-based ela Handbags will be one of the vendors, portraying a selection of upscale and fashion forward handbags. Natural beauty brand The Detox Market will provide complimentary skincare services from the likes of Tata Harper and Odacité. Amy Rosen of Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns will make a personal appearance during an activation that will include her award-winning products. Toronto-based MoRoCo Chocolate will be selling some of its wares, including its “Afternoon tea in a box” to-go, and chocolate stilettos. The Four Seasons Hotel’s resident Psychic Cyndi will be on hand one day, and there will even be activities such as yoga — the monthly schedule can be seen directly below, which includes a number of other notable local companies.
“Not only does this pop-up initiative mean that we get to work with our kindred fashionista spirits over at The Kit,” says Ms. Evans-Lee, “it also gives us the opportunity to allow for discovery and repeat visitation, animate the space, generate buzz, test retail concepts and offer instagrammable moments for our customers. The goal is really to have people pointing at the calendar saying, ‘I definitely want to go and see the psychic, buy a chocolate stiletto, do that glam-sounding photo shoot, check out the LBD fashion show, etc. etc.’”
There’s a diversity to the activations as well -- some activities are free while others are pay-per use, some events are public while others are invite-only, and some events are full-day, while others are for a portion thereof. More details can be found here: http://www.bayviewvillageshops.com/events
While a number of other shopping centres in Canada have launched pop-up spaces, the Bayview Village initiative is unique in how rapidly tenants change. Mall visitors are encouraged to come back repeatedly to check out what’s new, which is also expected to give a boost to the centre as a whole as shoppers stock up on fall fashions. Other local centres to include pop-up innovations include Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, which in April launched CONCEPT, the permanent multi-tenant pop-up space with activations that rotate every month or so. Dixie Outlet Mall in Mississauga, as well, also innovated when it unveiled ‘The Living Room’ in April, which is a multi-functional space that is free to use, and can be booked for a variety of uses.
Pop-up retail is a phenomenon that is becoming more common than ever, with pop-up expert Linda Farha explaining that, “pop-ups create an enhanced level of excitement due to their temporary nature, and they also allow retailers to test out new concepts and new locations prior to opening permanent stores”. She went on to describe how the perception of scarcity may be a psychological trigger to get customers to visit, and with frequency. “Customers want to get in before it’s gone”. Ms. Farha said that business is booming at her business pop-up go (spelled lower-case) — she's the Founder and Chief Connector at pop-up go, which is an online platform that helps pair retailers with available temporary retail spaces, which also features a curated pop-up match service that provides access to the ever-growing pipeline of pop-up seekers looking for space.
Bayview Village’s “The Haute Spot” is likely going to be a hit — during a visit to the centre prior to opening, interested onlookers were peeking in to see what was in store. It’s the combination of marketing, branding and diversity that will make such activations successful, and it’s likely that we’ll be seeing more such spaces in Canadian shopping centres this fall and into 2018.
See below for more photos, including some of the terrific food items that will be found in the new space this month.