Westfield Century City

Westfield Century City officially launches a permanent home for pop-ups Friday, kicking off with a month-long experience by Hèrmes.

Century City is the Hèrmesmatic pop-up’s final stop after trips to places such as New York, Washington and Nashville. The pop-up allows visitors to personalize their Hèrmes silk scarves via an on-site dip-dye process.

The rotating pop-up space totals 1,200 square feet and is located in the center’s atrium.

For Westfield, dedicated space for these short-term concepts is a means of spicing up an environment that can largely become static over time. Other property owners in the trade area have also taken note of this with their own cast of rotating tenants, such as at The Grove with its dedicated glass pod for temporary shops, or Platform where a number of brands test short-term leases before sometimes entering longer leases.

Century City recently capped a $1 billion makeover that added some 400,000 square feet and brought new flagships for Nordstrom and Macy’s along with a 60,000-square-foot Eataly. The mall had sales of $380 million in 2016, according to Westfield Corp.’s annual shareholder review. The figure reflects the impact of construction on the property throughout that year.

“The spirit of the new Century City is that it’s a place of discovery. So the plan for the property is we want everyone from the community to come in, whatever age you are, whatever income you are,” said Westfield chief marketing officer Heather Vandenberghe.

Vandenberghe said she drew inspiration from Dover Street Market or what Rachel Shechtman has done with Story in New York.

“The inspiration really carried over into what we’re doing here and even though this isn’t by any means derivative of what [Shechtman’s] done the idea…every month, is if you don’t get there, you’re going to miss that opportunity to experience something new and different,” Vandenberghe said. “It becomes a talking point for people to be engaged with the property.”

Hèrmes will be followed by a temporary shop from C Magazine, filled with an assortment of more than 100 brands selected by the magazine’s editors. A virtual reality experience and a pop-up for a celebrity product line are also penciled in for the space.

Vandenberghe and her team are credited with the success of last December’s Kylie Cosmetics pop-up at Westfield Topanga, which served as proof of what can happen when the pop-up model gets paired with the right partner.

“[Kylie Jenner had] never done it before. It was a brand new concept for her to go into retail. It was a first for them,” Vandenberghe said. “It was a learning curve for them and, frankly, it was a learning curve for us.”

The two-week pop-up generated what Vandenberghe described as “Disney-caliber” lines that snaked throughout the mall. The store’s two-week run saw more than 20,000 shoppers and generated media impressions of as much as 4 billion, a Westfield spokeswoman said. The Topanga property, along with the neighboring Village at Topanga, notched a combined $1.03 billion in sales last year, according to Westfield Corp.’s annual shareholder review.

“For me, as a new head of marketing, it was really wonderful to be able to show to the business [if] you try something like this, it really does work,” she said. “That learning and that experience and that success was really important as we designed Century City.”

The results of the Kylie Cosmetics pop-up isn’t necessarily something Westfield expects to duplicate at Century City, but the premise remains the same.

“[It’s about] creating this kind of FOMO excitement of, ‘I have to get there or I’m going to miss something,’” Vandenberghe said.

For More West Coast Coverage in WWD:

Gucci Décor Arrives at Maxfield

Best Made Co. Sets up Camp on La Brea Avenue

Sophia Amoruso on Creating the Next-Gen Media Company

Five Minutes With VaynerMedia’s Gary Vaynerchuk

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