Over the past 14 years, the Wired holiday pop-up shop has become a fixture in New York. Now, the technology and culture publisher is getting closer to something more permanent.
On Thursday, Dec. 13, the San Francisco-based title will open its 15th holiday pop-up shop on the ground floor of Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. Sponsored by Verizon, the 2,600-square-foot store will feature products curated by Wired’s editorial staff, from a $25 “kinetic shark kit” to a $1,150 robot bartender. There will also be a separate batch curated by Verizon.
The Brookfield location will only be open until Dec. 22. But next year, Wired is on track to open a permanent store at Newark Airport. The exact date hasn’t been set, but it is currently set for the spring of 2019.
“The Wired store has delivered for Wired, year over year,” said Maya Draisin, vp of marketing for Condé Nast’s culture collection, which includes Wired, Vanity Fair and Pitchfork. “We see an opportunity to branch out.”
While holiday pop-ups have come en vogue for publishers seeking to tap into brands’ experiential budgets, Wired has been doing this for more than a decade. Last year, it branched out past the holiday shopping season with a summer store it opened in Los Angeles, in partnership with the luxury automaker Genesis. It has opened versions of its stores in locations ranging from Manhattan’s Meatpacking District to Los Angeles Airport.
In that time, the strategy surrounding the stores has changed. In the early years, Wired stores were envisioned more as showrooms than actual places to buy products. That changed three years ago after the publisher noticed visitors were more interested in buying. Since then, the store has everything from whimsical items such as a marshmallow crossbow to a Genesis car (though the customer had to head to a dealership to pick it up).
Overall revenue from the store is up 50 percent year over year, though the publisher declined to share hard dollar figures.
This year, Verizon is sponsoring the pop-up. There’s an obvious monetary benefit: The store is part of a yearlong campaign that will manifest across several Condé Nast properties, Draisin said. But there were lots of small design touches in this year’s stores that Verizon’s team improved, Draisin said. For instance, Verizon suggested changes to the original layout design for the store to allow more space for people to congregate around devices, Draisin said. It also changed its plans for the materials they used for countertops that showcased the products.
“It’s so interesting, working with a professional retailer,” Draisin said. “They know a lot about which kinds of products will work in that environment.”
That Wired has started to accelerate its activations comes as no surprise to long-time observers. While publishers are taking cautious steps in the direction of more experiential activations, Wired’s parent company, Condé Nast, has made it clear that it sees events and experiential marketing as a priority in the years ahead, as it leans into creative services as a key stream of revenue.
“They were the first people to really successfully turn their pages into a store,” said Nicholas Balastrieri, the co-founder of Gathery, an experiential consultancy that’s worked with publishers and brands including HBO, Popsugar and W Hotels. “It makes sense that they’re considering turning this creative service exercise into something that’s permanent.”
Member ExclusiveMedia Buying Briefing: Omnicom Media Group tackles supply-chain challenges for its clients
The media agency network created a metric designed to help brands calculate where and when to redirect media spend as a result of supply chain issues they face — rather than just putting a halt on spend when there’s a supply crunch.
The Rundown: Podcast production companies and platforms pitch diverse audiences and ad targeting improvements at IAB’s Podcast Upfront
The three-day podcast-focused event highlighted improvements in dynamic ad insertion, machine learning and diversity of creators, content and audiences.
In graphic detail: How influencers drive social commerce sales
Influencers have a huge impact on the success of social commerce, and yet a large portion of micro influencers are not given the credit they deserve.
SponsoredHow marketers and retailers are unlocking the true value of retail media
Ben Kneen, senior director of product management, Xandr It’s a challenging time for retailers in the advertising industry. As they cope with supply chain woes and inflation-related pressures, they seek high-margin revenue streams amid evolving privacy regulations and massive shifts in identity solutions — including IDFA, the deprecation of third-party cookies and more. In light […]
The Trade Desk weathers Q1 headwinds with $315 million in revenues marking a 43% increase
More publishers join its OpenPath land grab but sources fear trading deals can come with strings attached
‘Beat failure:’ How one agency productized its offerings to help clients find a new way to growth
Butchershop offers a list of 100 “products” with fixed prices from which clients can choose. Over the course of a one-hour session, agency and client identify the potential failure spots rather than opportunities for success.