Online-only retailer Everlane built a pop-up store in New York City’s Soho neighborhood to show off its spring and summer shoe collections. With limited face time in front of customers, the company wanted to make as easy as possible for them to sample the products.
“We like to give our shoppers a chance to try things on, and experience the brand in real life, since that’s still an important part of the customer experience,” said Stephanie Tam, Everlane’s events and showroom coordinator.
Upon entering the shop, every customer must “check-in” the shoes they’re already wearing and venture forth barefoot (dainty paper cover ups are available for those with hygiene issues). Inside the temporary store in New York City is the retailer’s full collection of loafers, boots, sandals, with every available size out on the floor.
CEO Michael Preysman said the idea was to eliminate any of the barriers that come with trying and buying new shoes. If you’re already not wearing shoes, and your size is right in front of you, you’re more likely to slip your foot in.
To help further maximize opportunity for purchase during the shop’s run from May 13 to May 22, each salesperson’s phone is equipped for checkout, and purchases are sent to the storefront or to shoppers’ homes.
Take a tour inside the Everlane Shoe Park, located at 83 Wooster Street in Soho, in the video below.
Since 2011, Everlane has been building its direct-to-consumer retail brand online only. Unlike similar retailers like Bonobos, the company has resisted the need to open any physical stores. It has dabbled in offline experiences in the past, including a “Room Service” experience in 2015 that invited limited customers in four cities into hotel suites to try shoes in person.
This time, the company hired designer Robert Storey of Storey Studios and local contractor to build its own space. Construction of the store took six days, a process that Everlane social media director Red Gaskell documented on the retailer’s popular Snapchat account.
“I really wanted to show people what it was like to put together a 10-day pop up shop,” said Gaskell. “Snapchat is perfect for that, because you can really show how long you’ve been in the space, rather than something like Instagram, which just captures a moment. On Snapchat, we could timestamp at 7 a.m. and again at 11 p.m. and we’re still there, and that’s something people haven’t been able to get context for before.”
In addition to showing the construction process of the pop-up, Gaskell and Everlane used Snapchat to build the store’s temporary team. He captioned one Snap with a note that Everlane needed people to work in their upcoming retail store, along with a shortlink. Eight out of the 10 salespeople at the Everlane Shoe Park came from Snapchat referrals.