The Dr Martens pop-up shop in trendy Spitalfields epitomises all that’s best about the rage for stores that are here today and may be gone by tomorrow.
“There’s gonna be a nasty accident. You’re gonna get your…” Well if you don’t know the rest, the chances are that you aren’t part of the football-loving generation that viewed Saturday afternoons as the opportunity for a good ruck.
And if this is the case, it’s equally probable that the Dr Martens pop-up shop in trendy Spitalfields will seem like little more than a branded store selling lace-up boots in many different colours.
If you do fall into the latter camp – and even if you don’t – there can be no denying this small store epitomises all that’s best about the rage for stores that are here today and may be gone by tomorrow. Viewed from the outside, the shop looks minimalist and futuristic, with yellow translucent corrugated partitions and bright light provided by incandescent bulbs – which will shortly be a thing of the past – attached to cables descending from the ceiling.
The mid-shop stock is displayed on palettes, positioned on the raw concrete floor, that have been covered with white sheets and shrink-wrapped white plastic is used to cover chairs positioned on the same palettes. The whole thing is eye-catching in a way that a high street fashion retailer can generally only aspire to be and that there is an ephemeral sense to the store adds to its cachet.
There is an argument that this kind of low-cost guerrilla glamour is precisely what the mainstream lacks. But that is to forget that Dr Martens is a pretty mainstream brand and has been for many years. Used correctly (and this store is a great example) pop-up stores are a good way of re-establishing a brand’s retail credentials.