Brand awareness drives pop ups

 

unnamed-4Melbourne-based shoe brand, Rollie, is kicking off Christmas with a pop up shop in Melbourne’s St James, aimed at educating consumers and raising market awareness.

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Rollie also has pop up shops running in The Netherlands and Taiwan. The pop ups have been created by interior designer, Jo Motee, from Jartha Interiors as a gallery displaying the footwear as art.

The space at St James is displayed in an open plan, warehouse type setting, with the complete 2015 summer range of Rollie shoes artistically pinned to the walls.

Vince Lebon, founder and designer at Rollie, told Inside Retail PREMIUM the pop up spaces are a way for the brand to control the user experience.

“The concept was to open up pop up spaces next to our stockists to show consumers what the product is all about and the full collection. When we leave, stockists would want more shoes because  customers would be telling them what they want,” he said.

Rollie’s leather shoes are marketed as being lighter than two bananas or a bird through its demonstrations of lightness campaign. Lebon says the concept was to create a shoe version of the Havaiana, where people would know their size, comfort, buy a new colour.

The shoes are available through stockists in 12 countries, including more than 60 outlets in Australia.

2015 will see a big push for pop up stores in the US, while in Australia, the focus will be on Sydney and Melbourne.

The US, China, New Zealand, and Australia are Rollie’s best performing markets.

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“Germany is just about to drop this coming season. They’ve opened up 120 accounts in their first season, so we’re very, very excited.

“It’s their first season, but I suspect they are going to be our biggest market outside of the US and China,” he said.

Although Rollie has an online store, only 10 per cent of revenue is generated by e-commerce, with the rest driven through wholesale and distributors.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good reach in terms of the countries we want to be in, we’re just doing our final deal in the UK.

The UK and the US are the only ones we do ourselves, everyone else is distributors,” he said.

In the US, stockists include Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Free People, ShopBop, and Pipeline.

“We’re a wholesale business now and we’d love to create concept stores when the time is right, but it’s time to build the wholesale side of the business and brand awareness as opposed to being a retail store only.”

This story first appeared in Inside Retail PREMIUM issue 2027. To subscribe, click here. 
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