Now that it’s August, I can’t believe I’m just days away from the end of my internship! And just this week, I worked on my favorite project so far.
One of YARD’s clients is a shoe company, Johnston & Murphy. They are old school, and sell a majority of their shoes through direct-to-consumer catalogs! While catalogs seem to have fallen out of style, and have been replaced by internet shopping, J&M has been using this successful business model for decades. At YARD, we conceptualize and design the art direction for their yearly catalog, as well as cast photographers and stylists, edit product photographs, and create the catalog.
One of the marketing executives at J&M has been wanting to host a pop-up shop for the brand in Manhattan, and I’ve been tasked with preliminary research if this is the right direction for the brand. There is currently a pop-up shop in Soho for the luggage brand, Away, which I visited to experience and photograph. Before heading to the pop-up, I researched property value and rent on the exact block of the Away – Terminal A pop-up shop. The average price per square foot in the area is $1.15 / sq ft PER DAY! Smaller spaces, at 1,400 sq ft, would cost $22,540 for a 2-week rental. On the higher end, a 5,300 sq ft space costs $85,330 for a 2-week rental. Although the Away pop-up is only open for 10 days, a 14-day rental is appropriate for set-up and tear-down. Talking to the employees at the pop-up, I learned the space was a whopping 5,400 sq ft – approximately $86,940 in rent!
This was a cool project to work on because of my previous experience in the event planning industry. Erin, an Account Manager at YARD, specifically asked me to research the pop-up because of my familiarity with event design, budgeting, and management. It’s been super cool to see the intersection between my previous internship, and my current one! My planning knowledge has definitely informed my research, and ensured that my budget predictions were educated, not estimated.
While I was at the pop-up, I asked questions, and took many, many photos. As soon as I got back to the office, I made a slide deck with the photographs and my analysis of the cost.
My overall takeaways from the Away – Terminal A pop-up were:
- Design + decor didn’t feel cheap, nor luxury. It was minimal, and speaks to the brand’s conviction in efficiency.
- Not all space was utilized – while it made the pop-up appear roomy, the extra square footage comes at a high cost $$$.
- Interestingly, all sales associates on the floor were women. All Brand Associates of AWAY, nobody was a temp.
- Worth the cost? Yes – their products go on backorder online frequently, and customers took advantage of the store’s stock + personalization.