Thursday Lock-in

Just another day in the life of a blogger… Ok well to be fair it’s only my second day! On the search for content and images, an ex-colleague (Rina who features in my first StyleStalk post) and I took time after work to visit Brick Lane in East London. I’m an East London girl through and through so knew a couple places where I wanted to go to take some cool shots.

We made our way through the back streets and found some great photography material and eventually got to the Truman Brewery and started to browse the stores and bars. We were instantly drawn to the H&M pop-up store featuring ONLY monochrome items. I was in love! The space was very minimal and only had some latest pieces from their Divided collection.

MonochromaticThe sales assistant [pictured here rocking the cute mini dress] was uber-friendly without being pushy (which was quite easy in such a small retail space). She let us walk around to browse undisturbed for a couple of minutes before approaching us to offer us a drink (non-alcoholic unfortunately to mine and Rina’s disapproval). We made a joke saying it would have tasted better with alcohol, to which she responded by telling us that the following night they would be having an old-school style lock-in. So we signed up to the Vice newsletter and got added to the guest list.

The following night we arrived promptly at 7pm, and there was already a short queue forming to get in. The night was very well organised with the drinks on continuous flow, great music and fun staff chatting to everyone and making sure everyone was having a good time.

Why do people have pop-up shops?

These types of events are great for marketing. It’s an ideal example of multi-channel marketing. It translates across all channels; experiential, digital, direct and social. It’s also a great example of cross-brand collaboration. H&M teaming up with Vice was a win-win situation. It gave both brands the opportunity to promote via each others audience bases and widened each target market.

In this case, H&M needed a brand like Vice to emphasise the edginess of the Divided collection. Which is what it needed in order to really fit in amongst the Brick Lane crowd. And on the other hand, Vice were also able to benefit from the audience reach of a brand like H&M.

The method was simple: create a pop-up retail space, have fun events and host parties.

The retail space, was not an ordinary retail space. It made use of the mirrors for selfie takers and even featured a “handbooth” (see above).

So it’s a shop, it made money by selling their stock?

Not really… There’s a few ways to measure the success of projects like this such as:

  • They had limited stock, and the aim of the pop-up was not for direct sales. However gathering data for later re-targeting via email campaigns is a major win. Those that have signed up are engaged with your brand, they are more likely to respond via campaigns or make purchases in the long-term.
  • Brand awareness: These types of events and marketing strategies are great for digital. They made the space social friendly with lots of opportunity for people to tweet, insta, snap or even blog about it. At one point last week their hashtag #hmpopup was trending as the top tweet in the UK.
  • Audience: being located in Brick Lane and working with Vice was not coincidence. It was tactical. This was most likely relevant to an audience that H&M are probably seeing a decline in, and therefore an attempt to build on their brand identity by running an event like this.
  • Testing – another reason they may have ran this event could be to test out a new location. Perhaps they are planning on having a permanent store space there. But before committing to anything, they can test it out to see if it has a good chance of being successful.

I’ve seen a few events and pop-ups like this in the last few years, but this one was very well done. Let’s face it free drinks, music and shopping? They knew the right way to my heart!


I actually came in with the intention of buying a top/dress [above left], but they ran out so will probably go to one of their flagships. My boyfriend actually saw a top [above right] he liked and it was only £12.99, so we bought it. It was tagged as a “long-fit”, but we didn’t realise exactly how long until he tried it on when we got home! I mean seriously it was just above his knees and he’s 5ft10, and not many people can carry that look off unless you’re Kanye West of course… So I tried it on, and it didn’t look that bad. With some leggings or tights, it’s also really comfy. So I didn’t get the other top I wanted, but still have something new that I like.

The whole Divided collection right now, is very cool. But I might be biased as its all monochrome, and I absolutely LOVE monochrome.

All in all, it was a really fun night. They actually held them throughout the summer, and have two more nights coming up. So if you get a chance, head down to the H&M pop-up at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. It’s free drinks, great music and you can shop while you party. Sign up below to make sure you get on the guest list!


Did you manage to get down to one of the lock-ins at H&M pop-up? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below…

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.