Just as you think that Shoreditch pop-ups are going out of style, IKEA open their new Scandi-fantastic shop/restaurant right on Shoreditch High Street. The pop-up itself is a testament to its warehouse shop owner - minimalist, stylish and practical, yet somehow it all seems more premium in its new environment.
This setup showcases IKEA's simplicity at its finest and acts as a fantastic showroom for all of its wares in a more hospitable, engaging way than the large stores. This just goes to show that smaller, city based outlets could work to IKEA's benefit - whilst I'm unsure whether this was their retail test run, it proves that there is always an appetite for home ware items that people never knew they needed, until they saw them.
However lovely the opportunity to buy IKEA items from somewhere other than a retail unit on the outskirts of the city is, the most interesting part of this pop up is the restaurant. With calls to action painted on the walls in the form of hashtags, customers are introduced to the intention of pop up - to make an indelible link between IKEA and food.
By introducing the 'cook your own meal' aspect, IKEA have managed to avoid the now overused pop-up-restaurant-hosted-by-someone-unexpected event. The idea of being able to invite 10 friends to help cook a dinner in a fully equipped kitchen, overseen by a chef, for free (!) is appealing to anyone who just so happens to be in IKEA's target market. Young, creative, Londoners who have just moved to the city, or are still trying to fill up their kitchen drawers (you're always missing something - garlic press is next on the list), make up the majority of visitors to these types of one-off events. These consumers are on the look out for a bargain, something to share with their friends, and something to boast about on Instagram, and IKEA have hit the nail (or should it be one of those annoying dowels that always go missing?) on the head with this one!
Whilst it might not ease the inevitable pain of building the next flatpack bookshelf you buy from there, IKEA have managed to set up a pop up which isn't whimsical, quirky, or trying too hard. Every part of this event is well thought through, and executed to perfection. All whilst making everything look oh-so-simple. Definitely a lesson in great brand execution.