Create & Cultivate, the events-turned-digital media company focused on careerist Millennial women, is giving the doors-closed pop-up shop a try this week at the Platform shopping center in the Culver City area of Los Angeles. The company is pushing the release of its own line of vegan leather accessories, but including products from seven small brands owned by women of color. Given this is a “contactless” shopping experiment as the coronavirus keeps growing in California, purchases will be made only through a QR code via Square purchase tech, or bought online for either pick up or delivery by Postmates.
“We were planning on doing a traditional launch pop-up, but then the whole world changed,” Jaclyn Johnson, founder and chief executive officer of C&C, said. “Basically, what we decided to do was pivot, like everyone else in the world.”
The brands included in the pop-up concept are sunglasses from Coco and Breezy, candles from Gilded, swimwear from Jungle Girl, hand sanitizer from Organic Bath Co., moisturizer from Base Butter, water bottles from Have a Nice Day and skin care from Undefined Beauty. All will receive 100 percent of their sales from the pop-up.
The pop-up opening on Wednesday will be at a physical space, but not inside of one. The interior of the store will essentially be a warehouse for product, while the windows that face the public act as something “almost like a web site,” as Johnson put it, where people can walk by and eyeball a product they like. There will be a few staffers on hand outside to assist people with the concept who may walk by to interact with a product they like. But the expectation is that most people will buy online for pickup or delivery.
Sisters Corianna and Brianna Dotson, founders of Coco & Breezy, said being part of a delivery-based pop-up actually fulfills a desire they’ve had to try out on their own. The brand has already seen a bit of a boost during the pandemic, as public support for Black-owned business has increased as part of conversations on social injustice and endemic racism in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd.
“We hope that people continue to have that same energy to support Black businesses,” the sisters said.
And the partnership with Postmates for the pop-up marks an expansion for the delivery service outside of food.
Eric Edge, Postmates’ senior vice president of marketing and communications, said the company already is working with Walmart Inc. on its grocery delivery, and more recently Old Navy. But lately, Edge said there has been demand among consumers for “increased options, including on-demand delivery.”
“With many people still sheltering in place in L.A., the increased demand for curbside pickup and contactless delivery is a natural, growing response from consumers, especially those looking to support local businesses and makers like the ones featured in this retail experience,” Edge said. “It is incredibly important to us that we continue to support and help grow local businesses of all types.”
But it was Johnson who approached Postmates about the pop-up, as C&C had surveyed users on how they were spending money during the pandemic, and “most said they were spending their money on delivery.”
Whether they will spend to have gifts and accessories delivered remains to be seen, but Johnson has a positive outlook. If the Los Angeles effort goes well, she’s already thinking about bringing it to other major cities in the U.S.
“I think this is going to be the new normal, we’re living in an Amazon world,” Johnson said. “To be able to order retail in a way that’s delivered to you within 30 minutes, it could be a new avenue for retail in the pandemic world.”