Pop-Ups and Piercing Parties Are the Holiday’s Hot Jewelry Retail Events

Pop-up stores and ear-piercing parties. They’re ubiquitous in jewelry retailing this holiday season, as stores and brands work to leverage the excitement splashy temporary stores generate among consumers—and the booming multiple-ear-piercings trend—to stoke sales.

Pop-ups have become an integral part of the retailing playbook for many 2.0 brands. Because a well-designed pop-up works on two levels: It’s a profit-boosting retail event and a high-profile, social media–ready branding opportunity. (Pop-ups are also low-risk ways to test out a permanent location—D2C jewelry brand AUrate’s latest permanent stores began as pop-ups.)

Piercing parties—soirees that can take place inside a brick-and-mortar store or in a freestanding pop-up—offer partygoers the chance to get a second or third earlobe hole while sipping prosecco. They’re a response to the soaring popularity of ear and body piercing. Look around—it’s tough to find a teenage or 20-something girl wearing less than four earrings. And the fervor for all things ’90s fashion is ushering in the return of ear cartilage, nose, eyebrow, and lip piercings.

Is your store looking to host a memorable activation to kick off 2020 (and stem the inevitable sales slowdown that happens in January)? Take a page from one of these holiday pop-ups and piercing events.

Tiffany Men’s Shop
Jewelry, barware, games, accessories, home decor—and even a custom Tiffany x Spalding basketball—share shelf space in this ephemeral Tiffany holiday shop on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. 6 E. 57th St. 

Kendra Scott Piercing
Kendra Scott jewelry stores in Austin and New York City’s SoHo neighborhood hosted special piercing days throughout November and December. Guests were asked to call for an appointment.

Michelle Varian at In Seven Words
Jewelry designer and NYC lifestyle retailer Michelle Varian has curated a collection of jewels, home goods, lighting, and gifts for Washington, D.C., store In Seven Words (located inside Union Market). 1268 4th St. NE

Lord & Taylor Pop-Up
Lord & Taylor closed its flagship in NYC this year, but under its new owner, Le Tote, it’s temporarily returning to Manhattan for the holidays. The retailer has opened a 2,400-square-foot pop-up shop in SoHo. Inside is the usual L&T fare: private-label cashmere, jewelry, makeup, etc. But Le Tote told CNBC that the pop-up was designed to help consumers get used to the concept of renting clothes through Le Tote’s fashion rental studios. 138 Wooster St., through Dec. 24

Alice + Olivia
Fashion brand Alice + Olivia offered guests piercings, light bites, and drinks at its Beverly Hills, Calif., stores on Dec. 7. Guests who were pierced were required to buy the earrings, but the piercing itself was free.

Canadian D2C jewelry brand Mejuri is has opened its first “experiential” pop-up shop, which it’s calling the Vault, in NYC. It’s designed as an interactive maze with Instagrammable activations, according to WWD, and focuses on three of the brand’s jewelry collections: Zodiac, Tarot, and Diamonds. All of the proceeds from a tight series of pieces featured in the pop-up will go to benefit the Lower Eastside Girls Club. 418 W. 13th St., Nov. 23–Dec. 22

Alison Lou
Popular jewelry designer Alison Lou Chemla has opened a pop-up on NYC’s Upper East Side to retail her popular Lucite Jelly hoops, enamel stud earrings, and other color-drenched styles. 22 E. 65th St.

The Last Line
Trendy fine jewelry collection the Last Line has opened it first-ever brick-and-mortar spot—a holiday pop-up in NYC that offers an on-site piercer Wednesday through Sunday. 63 Crosby St., through Feb. 14, 2020

Top: Jewelry designer Alison Lou Chemla in her New York City holiday pop-up shop (via: @alisonlou)

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