Pop Up Stores

The Best Holiday Retail Pop-ups 2023 – Part 1

Christmas is a time where retailers can showcase some of their most exciting and innovative ideas, as well as get shoppers into the festive spirit. It’s also the time that the pop-up store reigns supreme.

There are stores inspired by love, home, Dickens and even David Lynch, offering a range of activities to entice and entertain customers. Some retailers are creating impressive structures, such as giant advent calendars and jewellery boxes, while others are offering a range of complimentary gifts and treatments.

We have a bumper crop of pop-ups for you to get through, so grab a mulled wine and be inspired.


Image credit: Sézane

Sézane, Covent Garden

French fashion retailer Sézane opened a London pop-up this Christmas.

As well as a selection of knitwear available to purchase, there were a number of festive elements that have been included for Christmas visitors. Shoppers could find Amour Postal, a special post office where they could send a free postcard to anywhere in the world. There was a selection of postcards to choose from that had been designed by the team of artists at Sézane.

There was also the Sézane Café available for a warm drink and bite to eat, and a competition lottery to win Sézane gifts.


Sunglass Hut, Trafalgar Square

A festive truck from eyewear retailer Sunglass Hut appeared at Trafalgar Square this winter.

Launched as part of the brand’s #ShadesofHoliday campaign, the pop-up included a special festive arcade, where customers were able to win discounts to use in-store, as well as Sunglass Hut products.

Shoppers could also take advantage of a complimentary hot chocolate and get access to a 20% off discount card called Bounce Back.


Pandora, South Bank

An exciting art gallery ‘The Art of Loves’ arrived at London South Bank courtesy of jewellery brand Pandora.

The pop-up resembled a Pandora jewellery box and was covered with large digital displays. Visitors entering the box found a series of artworks representing the idea of “Loves”, as part of Pandora’s winter campaign, Loves Unboxed.

Visitors also had the opportunity to create their own art using a special interactive display, which could either be displayed on the digital displays outside, or printed as unique wrapping paper.


Image credit: Lookfantastic

Lookfantastic, Piccadilly

Beauty retailer Lookfantastic launched its first ever pop-up, House of Beauty, in London.

The pop-up embraced both physical and digital elements, with customers downloading the brand’s app for access to the event and exclusive offers. The pop-up allowed customers first access to Lookfantastic’s collection of holiday items, including gift sets.

There were also a series of treatments available, including a complimentary styling session from ghd, a skin consultation from Drunk Elephant and consultations, and sample products and engraving from Nuxe and Marc Jacobs.


Clementine’s, Mayfair

An exclusive luxury pop-up has opened at Mayfair as a collaboration between floral artist Amie Bone, caterer AP&Co and book store Shapero Rare Books.

Ticket holders can enjoy a Christmas menu including smoked salmon, caviar blinis and champagne. Amie Bone will also host a masterclass to help visitors create Christmas wreaths, and a private tour and VIP shopping experience with Shapero Rare Books.

The store is also partnering with One Feeds Two, where a meal will be donated for a child living in hunger for each guest attending the event.


Image credit: Lone Design Club

Lone Design Club, City of London

Independent retail platform Lone Design Club has collaborated with property company Landsec for a special Christmas pop-up store in the heart of London.

The Conscious Christmas Surprise is hosted at One New Change shopping centre and will showcase a variety of independent and sustainable retailers across fashion and lifestyle.

The centre of the pop-up features a giant advent calendar for customers to help open. Lone Design Club will also launch custom Christmas boxes so that shoppers can enjoy a curated range of products from a variety of brands.


Image credit: Glossier

Glossier, Regent Street

A pop-up with a twist has launched in Regent Street from beauty brand Glossier.

Called Realms of You, the pop-up is dedicated to the Glossier You perfume, which is different to each person wearing it. The experiential space offers a way to heighten the senses and is accessible to only six people at a time.

There is a beauty ASMR room, alongside an Alice in Wonderland and David Lynch-inspired entirely red room with six hands wearing gloves for visitors to shake. A red wavy corridor leads to an unusual selfie mirror. Limited edition Glossier merchandise is also available, such as a red pepper grinder in collaboration with Peugeot.


Image credit: Shein

Shein, Times Square

Fast fashion brand Shein partnered with Forever 21 to create the Home for the Holidays pop-up in New York.

The space featured six differently themed rooms from luxury to eclectic. Shoppers could play a special game while they browsed, which gave them the opportunity to win gift cards to spend in-store. QR codes were also dotted throughout to allow shoppers to order items and receive a tote bag with complimentary items.

The spaces were set up to allow visitors to take social media pictures and share them online. There were also special gift areas to help shoppers find gifts for their family.


eBay Pre-Loved, Kurfürstendamm

Marketplace eBay launched a pop-up in Berlin specifically for pre-loved items.

The eBay Pre-Loved pop-up offered a range of products from different eBay departments, with information about the items and the story behind them. QR codes let customers buy the items directly from eBay and either take them away with them immediately, or have them delivered to their home.

The space also functioned as a way to educate visitors about sustainability, with infographics and facts about topics like the circular economy. An eBay seller who specialises in refurbished items also had a stall to talk to shoppers about how refurbishment works.

The pop-up launched with a discussion on the circular economy, with Oliver Klinck from eBay Deutschland, former MP Marie-Luise Dött and a range of other experts.

Discover the best pop-ups in retail on an Insider Trends retail safari. Talk to us about the best city for your team to visit.