Pop Up Stores

The Best Holiday Retail Pop-ups 2023 – Part 2

Retailers are pulling out all the stops this Christmas with their holiday pop-ups.

From Toronto to Battersea Power Station, retail activations have been more exciting than ever, with expansive installations, charity collaborations and innovative Christmas themed items.

We’ve found stores sponsoring ice rinks and hosting skate parks, second hand items partnered with children’s charities, a sweet shop in the sky,  a giant gingerbread soft toy, festive scents and a colour-changing cocktail.

Read on to find out what the best holiday pop-ups are this month.


Image credit: Cider

Cider, New York City

Online clothing brand Cider makes its bricks-and-mortar debut in the heart of New York with a holiday pop-up open until 15 January.

The store uses bold red and Cider’s apple motif throughout the store, with sustainable fixtures and fittings that can be used elsewhere. A large blue tunnel covered in fur leads to a fitting area that has a neon sign and selfie mirror for trying on outfits. A disco ball hangs over the payment area. The brand has also tried to reflect the themes on its app by collecting clothing under signs like “feeling cute”.

The store carries 400 products, including Cider Basics and a limited edition collection for NYC, and offers personalisation and embroidery services. VIP clients and influencers can also attend events while the pop-up is open.


Image credit: Jo Malone

Jo Malone, Battersea

A festive pop-up from British fragrance brand Jo Malone is at Battersea Power Station this Christmas.

The store is open until 8 January and includes a gingerbread house for customers to buy winter themed perfumes, candles and beauty products, with scents including Orange Bitters and Ginger Biscuit.

The brand is also sponsoring the Glide ice rink, with a Jo Malone decorated tree at the centre and a range of immersive experiences for customers. These include an exclusive shopping event with drinks, a skating session at Glide, and a gingerbread house workshop.


Image credit: Amazon

Amazon Second Chance Store, Bloomsbury

The Second Chance Store from Amazon is now open at the Brunswick Centre in Central London until 12 December.

The store contains over 4,000 products that have been returned to Amazon in good condition, unused or refurbished, across household, kitchen, books, toys and electrical goods. These include 300 Echo, Kindle and Ring devices donated by Amazon, with proceeds supporting Barnardo’s.

The space also includes a Repairs Zone offering free workshops to visitors, including demonstrations from GXO ServiceTech on how to fix broken tech items.


Image credit: Story Knits

Story Knits, Covent Garden

A collaboration between children’s charity Save the Children and vintage retailer Beyond Retro launched in Covent Garden for Christmas Jumper Day.

Story Knits is a pop-up dedicated to retro and vintage knitwear, featuring 91 jumpers curated and provided by Beyond Retro. The number 91 represents the number of children Save the Children help each minute. Every jumper in the collection is named after a child and includes a label telling that child’s story.

The launch was celebrated with a preview event hosted by Julia Restoin Roitfield, a fashion designer, who demonstrated different ways to style knitwear.


Image credit: Gay Lea

Share Joy by Gay Lea, Toronto

Canadian dairy co-operative Gay Lea Foods has launched a pop-up called Share Joy in Toronto this December.

The special space contains five immersive rooms containing activations and installations, such as oversized utensils and a giant gingerbread plush. Visitors can take pictures in all the rooms, and for every photo shared on social media, Gay Lea Foods will donate 1 dollar to Food4Kids, a healthy food organisation.

Share Joy is aimed at families, including dogs, and offers free hot drinks and food, and a free pup-cake for dogs. There is also an opportunity to sign up for a special cake decoration workshop with April Julian, a cake artist.


Hasbro/Amazon, New York City

Hasbro and Amazon launched Hasbro Toyland in New York City from 8-10 December.

The Official Amazon Toyland Store was a free event for families that included a toy showcase with popular Hasbro brands like Play-Doh, Transformers and Nerf, and Disney brands Star Wars and Marvel. QR codes were available in the store to allow customers to visit the Hasbro Toyland Amazon page and order products.

There were also photo opportunities with Santa Claus, Peppa Pig and My Little Pony, and a dedicated station for writing letters, as well as giveaways and complimentary food and drinks.


Sky Candy Emporium, South Bank

Over 2-10 December, the London Eye was turned into a sweet shop called Sky Candy Emporium.

A pod was decorated with bright colours, confectionery decorations and filled with sweets, including a range of pick-n-mix and floating candy floss. Small groups of visitors were able to take part in a chocolate tasting session, and also received a colour changing sherbet cocktail/mocktail called Up to the Clouds. Goodie bags were provided to all ticket holders.


Image credit: Samsung

Samsung Flip Park, Shoreditch

Samsung has partnered with Skateboard GB to host a skate park pop-up in London until 16 December.

The pop-up offers a series of events to celebrate skate culture, including free skateboard lessons with training recommended by Skateboard GB. Visitors will also have the opportunity to try out the Galaxy Z Flip5 which will be in special game and activity booths.

Culture and lifestyle site Hypebeast will present a skate fashion show, including designs from Donkwear, a UK streetwear designer. Rinse FM will host live DJ music, and there will also be yoga sessions, film nights and workshops with street artists Billy Colours.

Reach your retail customers in a new way. Sponsor an Insider Trends report and we’ll help you give your customers what they really want – ideas on how to do business better.