Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on March 5, 2009
In business, location is everything. But who says you can’t be in business before you find a location (or in this case, before your location is ready)? If you’re Uniqlo, you hire innovative designers LOT-EK to create some temporary venues and jump right in. And if the concept is cool enough, you’ll generate enough free publicity to get your product noticed.
Pretty smart, right? Last year, as they waited for the completion of their swank 36,000 square foot SoHo flagship store, Uniqlo (the Japanese equivalent of H&M) dropped several modified shipping containers around New York City and opened for business.
Functioning somewhere between the style of a summer street fair (common in the city) and a fully operating retail venue, the container stores were located in nine choice New York neighborhoods, including the West Village, Jones Beach, Cobble Hill Brooklyn, Coney Island. Each had vertical strip windows cut into the exterior and was powered by an external generator. The door and ramp opened and closed via hydraulic struts and the insides were lined inside with laminated cubes for shelves.
Including merchandise and the necessary IT equipment, the 20’ x 8’ x 8’ LOT-EK container weighed approximately 15,000 pounds.
So, why am I writing about this a year after the fact? Because cool concepts never go out of style.