By Emma Davis
Fifth Ave is to New York City as Newbury Street is to Boston; The analogy may not mean much to most, but to those who have roamed, and shopped, the notorious streets know what legacy it holds. Located in the Back Bay of Boston and lined with decoratively light-wrapped trees, it feels quiet and quaint in comparison to the busy streets it’s nestled in between. Newbury Street’s brownstones are where many popular clothing brands and high-end designer boutiques call home. While most of the shops are permanent staples to the street, in recent years Newbury Street has hosted a variety of pop up shops.
Walked by tourists and Bostonians alike, the location’s high foot-traffic is ideal for what pop-up shops are trying to achieve: test new markets, launch new products and gain brand awareness. Generally lasting anywhere from one day to a few months, pop ups urge customers to get in and check it out before its gone. Many pop ups host emerging or local brands that focus mainly on e-commerce and don’t have their own brick and mortar store. However Newbury Street has seen a wide array of pop ups since they began incorporating them into their shopping experience.
Past pop-ups have expanded past traditional shopping; from designers working to support a charity, to a gelato shop, and even an interactive children’s book experience by New England Patriot’s tight end Martellus Bennet, Newbury Street pop ups are making the most of their time in Boston’s best location. In the spring of 2016 and in the spirit of the Boston Marathon, pop ups with local athletic apparel offered group runs, fitness classes and other events. To meet holiday shopping needs, many local designers and retail had temporary shops throughout the holiday season. One of these was deWolfe Leather Goods hyperlink to Locally Created: Dewolfe article from December, whose artisan leather accessories were featured in POLISHED magazine in the fall of 2016. Similarly, Newbury Handmade Market, a pop up showcase of local Etsy artists, has been a recurring seasonal pop up for the last four years. Seeing as even Kanye West opened a 3-day pop up just a street over on Boylston this past summer. Clearly Boston pop up shops are catching on.
Newbury Street is embracing the up-and-coming pop up culture and adapted by creating “The Shop.” Launched in October of 2016, The Shop is a permanent fixture for the purpose of hosting rotating pop ups. With flexible fixtures, moveable design elements and a simple aesthetic, the location can easily accommodate a variety of different shops. Most recently, The Shop was home to a temporary Burton location. Burton, a snowboard and winter gear company, was The Shop’s longest tenant and lasted six weeks. With large windows to the street, it is easy for people walking Newbury Street to glance in on what brand currently calls home. While there’s no information on what’s coming to The Shop next, take a look into 144 Newbury Street next time you walk by and check out what might be popping up next.