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Brief Published: 11 Jan 2012

The Pop-Up App Store


Noting the influence that impressive real-world experiences can have on driving consumers online, a growing number of online-only businesses are creating physical pop-ups (see our reports: E-Commerce Christmas and Multi-Channel Retail for more examples). In December 2011, South Korean search engine Naver became the latest to adopt this strategy, opening the Naver App-Square: a pop-up store in Seoul.

Designed by local architects practice Urbantainer, the store was housed within a shipping container – designed to look like a giant cardboard box. It’s aim? To encourage consumers by way of music and wine to explore Naver’s range of services in a way they’d be unlikely to online. After a two-week stay in Seoul, the pop-up is currently on a tour of other South Korean cities.

The Naver App-Square also supports another major emerging direction – the use of shipping containers as retail environments. Other notable recent examples include London pop-up mall Boxpark, which opened in December 2011 (look out for our full report on this project later in January), and coffee shop chain Starbucks’ pop-up coffee shop in Tukwila, Washington, this month.