The Permanent Pop Up: Fusing Impermanence and Sustainability
It is not surprising that pop-up shops are a growing trend everywhere, especially after seeing the effects the pandemic has had on physical retail. Retail is everchanging and a design agency in NYC is at the forefront of what retail should look like. The Lionesque Group, led by MG2 Principal Melissa Gonzalez, has been exploring a unique perspective on pop up shops. The Lionesque Group took a new approach to pop-up at a shop in Seattle called Periodic.
Periodic is a permanent pop -up. It sounds like an oxymoron but when broken down, it all makes sense. The shop is a permanent physical space with rotating brands and merchandise. Acting as a retail incubator, for anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months, a brand “pops up” in Periodic. Some brands use the space for capsule collections, some use it to test the market and others to have a physical presence. Each brand is unique in their reason for being there.
"We’ve never had the opportunity to see how people “Shop by Cut” in person. We know to a science how they shop online and the colors that they’re gravitated towards, but we’ve never been able to see that in a retail setting with our own eyes. We can see which cuts & colors they like, see them feel the product in their own hands, and answer any questions they have. It’s been really cool to engage with them in a physical sense."- Ethan Frame, Director of Brand & Special Projects at Cuts Clothing, Inc
Gallery images: Cuts – Photographer John Vicory; Woodland Park Zoo – Photographer John Vicory; Rustek – Photographer John Vicory; Sensebellum – Photographer John Vicory; VanMoof – Photographer Brooke Fitts.
The space first launched in July of 2020, since then many different brands have occupied Periodic. Creating a turnkey shop was vital to executing the space. All the elements of Periodic provide a blank canvas. Each piece was selected to create a framework for any type of retailer. Every brand adds its own elements, and each new brand turns the store into something entirely new and different than that before it.
The Lionesque Group was very intentional when choosing fixtures for the space. The furnishing within the space would play a crucial role in the ability of Periodic to accommodate diverse types of merchandise. Needing something modern, flexible, and high quality with the ability to iterate many themes and messages, Lionesque selected ALU as a partner for this vital role. Often in retail fixtures are replaced when new concepts come into play which becomes costly and unsustainable.
Rustek – Photographer John Vicory
More and more companies and agencies are focusing on their sustainability efforts, including MG2. Materials are a huge part of sustainability. ALU fixtures’ durability and modularity made them an ideal partner for Periodic. Easily moved, changed, and accessorized, they can be reused and adapted creating a new space with each change of brand and merchandise, rather than continually replacing the framework each time.
To support the design/redesign process within the space, Lionesque created a fixture guide. The guide presents the fixtures and accessories in various layouts and configurations. The design of the space isn’t dictated, the incoming brand and the agency work together to create each new environment.
“It has been a really collaborative learning process.”- Melissa Gonzalez
There is a hope to open more Periodic shops in new locations, once there is a better understanding of how things will open and how people will react to going in to stores to shop again. It wouldn’t be surprising to see more concepts like this that infuse the usually opposing ideals of temporary and sustainability.