Dubbed the “Celebrate Smarter Shop,” both the pop-up and e-commerce shop will feature more than 150 fashion, fitness, accessory and home decor items. The pop-up builds off the company’s Skimm Picks affiliate business and its annual “Celebrate Smarter” holiday content series.
“At the Skimm, we’re really insights driven and we always focus on time well spent and thinking about the routines of our audience,” said Danielle Weisberg, who cofounded The Skimm with Carly Zakin. The Skimm started seven years ago as a daily e-mailed subscription newsletter of bite-sized news and current events and now includes weekly Skimm Picks, Skimm Reads, the Skimm app, a podcast and a book.
According to Weisberg, Skimm’s audience of more than seven million women has looked to them for products and book recommendations over the years, and they have featured Skimm Picks “which has grown to a really burgeoning affiliate program.”
Having surveyed their audience, they found that the average “Skimmer” spends about 20 hours prepping for the holiday season. “That is a huge source of stress. Our brand is about making it easier to be smarter about anticipating and streamlining routines, and always feeling our audience is one step ahead,” said Weisberg.
Weisberg said 68 percent of their audience said shopping for gifts is their top stressor, 53 percent said they host friends and family for holiday events, 41 percent said they buy a self-care gift during the season and the majority travel for the holidays. Consequently, they broke down their merchandising strategy into four key categories: Gift Smarter, Party Smarter, De-Stress Smarter and Travel-Smarter, with items fitting each category.
The merchandise in the pop-up shop will be on consignment. Skimm will get a percentage of each item sold. The partners declined to reveal what that percentage will be. Each brand will handle their own fulfillment in the e-commerce shop.
Featured in the pop-up is apparel from ADAY and Primary; plants and planters from The Sill; skin care from Ursa Major, Wander Beauty and Paradox; accessories from Nisolo, Artemis Designs and State Bags, nail colors from Fluide, candles from Otherland; cookware from Material, and fitness gear from Amanda Kloots.
Retail prices will range from less than $10 to $399, with 72 percent of the products $50 or less. Weisberg said her audience of Millennial women is steeped in student debt and has to think about how they use their disposable income so they were careful about the price range. “The Millennial and Gen Z generations are really thoughtful about who they support with their money,” she said. She said sustainability was a key aspect in merchandise selection (Nisolo, Artemis designs and The Sill are sustainable and eco-friendly brands) and 71 percent of the products are from female-founded brands.
Zakin said they’re focused on making the pop-up great and connecting with the community, and there aren’t plans at this point to take the pop-up concept to other cities around the country.
“One of our big focuses and how we’ve grown the Skimm is to not just be a coastal brand. The idea of having an e-commerce experience was first and foremost,” said Weisberg.
The Skimm also plans to host live programming, including a taping of their podcast, “Skimm’d from the Couch,” gift-wrapping workshops, wine tastings and community events. The shop will be three levels. The first floor will showcase the collection of products and will be designed to resemble an apartment, the second will feature a recharging station and will have activations and a place to relax, and the third floor will host workshops, live programming and community events throughout the month.
Batiste, the presenting sponsor of the pop-up, will host a hair refresh station with on-site stylists offering touch-ups for shoppers. STARZ, another partnering sponsor, will host a recharging lounge on the second floor where guests can watch Starz Originals programming and receive giveaways, and Bose, a third supporting sponsor, will also activate in the space.
Asked whether she believes the store will attract both women and men, Zakin said, “Our target audience is millennial women, but with many of our products, the problems that we’re solving for are not gender-specific.” She said both women and men will be able to find gifts.
The shop will be open seven days a week. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Dec. 24, store hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pop-up Mob, an experiential marketing agency, is producing the pop-up.
As for whether they would someday like to have a permanent store, Weisberg said, “Never say never. There’s such interesting going on between media brands and commerce….we’ll learn a lot from this.”
Part of their motivation for a store came after taking a sold-out nationwide tour this summer for their book, “How to Skimm Your Life,” which made its debut at number one on the New York Times Bestseller List, where they had an opportunity to meet with their audience.
“The pop-up felt like an amazing extension to bring together more real-life events with our audience,” said Weisberg.
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