Generic stores and static brands don't quite cut it anymore with experience-hungry millennials who want to show the world they're unique.
Dwindling foot traffic in malls and competition on shelves has forced companies to rethink how they reach consumers. Pop-up shops offer both a testing ground and a marketing tool, making them a favorite, especially during the holidays.
Yankee Candle's version in New York is a stark departure from its classic mall store layout. Inside, visitors explore various settings: a forest, a poolside lounge, a field of giant roses and a sideways room that could be a scene in "Alice in Wonderland." In another room, visitors can use their fingers to guide koi fish on a screen.
Traditional candles comprise just a corner of the space, while personalized jars are the centerpiece of the store. Visitors can choose an image, add words, select a fragrance and have it printed on a candle. Brands WoodWick and Chesapeake Bay are also featured, both of which Yankee's parent company, Newell Brands, acquired this year.
Four New York-themed scents are unique to the store. Exclusive products are essentially an unwritten rule for pop-up shops.
"We really want to show the brands to customers in a different way, so they think about them in the way they always have and in a new way they never have. This experience absolutely gives them the opportunity to do that," said Hope Margala, Newell Brands' CEO of home fragrance.