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Will competitors copy Target’s innovative pop-up shop tradition?

For the holidays, Target set up a crazy creative pop-up shop that helped people spend big bucks with the discount retailers – how will other brands emulate?

target wonderland

target wonderland

Target’s cool pop-up shop

Back in December of 2002, Target introduced one of the very first retail pop-up stores, during an extravagant two-week shop at the Chelsea Pier in New York City. Over the years, they’ve continued to use these pop-up stores to create excitement, introduce product, and interact with the consumer. But this year took the cake, when the discount retailer unveiled a 16,000 part-store part-holiday playground in the big apple.

Understandably dubbed “Target Wonderland,” the pop up shop was located in Manhattan’s Meatpacking neighborhood, offering a free experience for families. And what an experience indeed. Influenced by their Holiday Odyssey marketing campaign, the space housed ten larger-than-life spectacles, including a ginormous Etch-a-Sketch, and Christmas Tree made from 320 Hulk Hands.

Families also got the opportunity to customize ornaments and face off on a super-sized Xbox Kinect Snow-N-Roll.

The real purpose of the shop

But just like their other pop up shops, the venue and spectacles are mere additions to the real purpose of their shops: to introduce something new. In an effort to merge the physical and digital retail experience, Target provided each customer with a Radio Frequency Identification Key (RFID).

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If any of the holiday items caught their eye through the journey, customers could simply scan the tag with their RFID, and add the items to a digital shopping list. At the end of the Wonderland adventure, guests checked out and purchased the items on their list.

Open for only two weeks, Target likely enjoyed an astounding turn out.

Target in it for the long haul

As brick and mortar retailers scramble to find a way to stay relevant, in a progressively digital age, Target remains prepared and unfazed. As technologies continue to advance, we’ll have to stay tuned to see what Target has next, or if their competitors will follow their lead.


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Written By

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.

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