Tag

retail

Browsing

Goop opens pop-up store in the UK

Gwyneth Paltrow is no stranger to the public eye, and with her company Goop, she catapulted even further into the limelight. She’s brought the goodness of Goop back to the UK for a short time, with a new pop-up store that opened its doors on September 25 in Notting Hill, London.

If you’ve no idea what Goop is, here’s a quick rundown: Goop is the widely successful lifestyle brand conceptualised by the actress. It started a decade ago as a newsletter in 2008, and has since evolved into a thriving lifestyle site, imprint, clothing line, with multiple products, and an estimated 150 employees as of 2018. Brand loyalty is impressive, and most Goop readers have an average annual household income of around $100k.

It is no surprise then that some prices found in the pop-up store may not match every budget. For example, you could pick up a few pretty shells from the beach or, get the “Goop Medicine Bag” for £76.99.

What’s in the bag? Eight healing crystals.

If you’re looking for something nice to catch your beverage sweat, why opt for any old coaster set when you can get a pack of four for £40?

Clothes shopping for the fall and winter seasons?

You can get anything from jackets to bras for as little as £90 or well over £1, 000.

Whatever catches your fancy is up for grabs if you’ve the budget to back it up.

Though the prices may be deterrent for some, that didn’t stop Goop fans, and interested shoppers from popping in throughout opening day, and making purchases of various products. This has continued and it’s safe to say that this could be the case until the pop-up store closes its doors on January 27.

Paltrow and her Goop brand have come under fire over the years from medical practitioners, and consumer advocacy groups to name a few, but this has not stopped customers from purchasing, enjoying, and promoting the brand’s products.

Some criticism was placed on the fact that many of the healing treatments and options purported by the brand, may be more a danger to users than help. This includes complaints that efficiency of these products is backed by no scientific proof and, they are not recognised or promoted by those in the field of medicine.

Some products that have raised eyebrows and can be bought in the UK Goop pop-up store are the £65 The Yoni Egg, which the brand recommends as a vaginal muscle toner, and the £40 “Inner Beauty Powder.”

Wherever you think about the Goop brand or its products, the store isn’t anything to sneeze at. Well laid out over four floors boasting pastels, coppers, and other colours and materials that match the brand’s theme, it offers other UK brands in the mix as well. Experience the Goop lifestyle, carefully sectioned into health and beauty, houseware, and clothing (fitness attire and closet essentials). This gives shoppers a wide range to choose from, while still getting all their favourite Goop products.

Why is there still a Target-sized hole in my heart?

Sears didn’t mean much to me. It was just a shortcut to the rest of the mall, that is until it started to get really interesting, right before it went under. A huge banner advertised a new slogan “What the Sears?”. The store was constantly under renovation. There were suddenly shelves of reasonably priced housewares and a hopeful sign that read a café was coming soon. It was a desperate makeover to stave off bankruptcy — and it didn’t work. When Sears inevitably closed, I realized with a sinking feeling the Christmas tradition staple the Wish Book was now canceled.

It was one more blow to the seemingly bleak retail landscape.

While Sears was unfortunate, and my childhood will forever miss that giant book of toys and holiday possibilities, there’s one that really hurts­— the one that got away.

The store I made a beeline for every time I went to the States was finally coming to Canada! I trekked to the Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke on Target’s opening day, but immediately something felt off. The huge store felt empty and the stock placement seemed random. I gave it chance after chance, but it never got better. It was a big debacle, and Target eventually went back to the States defeated, leaving behind empty real-estate and its big concrete balls.

Target shot its shot and lost. It came on too strong and took on too much too fast. In its zeal to enter Canada, it had taken over all of the leases of the now defunct Zellers and quickly discovered not all the spaces were suitable to be transformed into Targets. I wondered, did Canada also play a part? Was it Stephen Harper’s fault? When he ditched the beloved long-form census did it leave the corporation without enough demographic information to make proper expansion decisions?

Whatever the case, Target it’s-not-you-its-me’d itself right out the door, and I found myself at its funeral. I wanted to say goodbye in my own way, and see if there was one last bargain to score from the sad clearance wreckage. Mourners and a handful of media were gathered. Bagpipes played. A sobbing girl laid flowers. A protestor held a sign that read, God hates fake funerals. It was…something. I guess I wasn’t the only one looking for closure.

And then, suddenly, I was hit with feelings of nostalgia for another departed store. The company that was cut to make room for Target —Zellers. I felt longing for the sales racks I had combed through with my mom, the café where I had coconut cream pie with my mother-in-law, my hometown store where the teddy bear mascot beckoned, “Come ride with me! All aboard the Zeddy wheel.” I was so psyched by Target’s arrival, I didn’t even think to miss Zellers.

Stores promise they will always be there. They promise to help everyone, “live better.” So, there’s something uniquely traumatizing about seeing a store being liquidated to the bare studs, with everything for sale, including the fixtures. The space stripped of its former meaning. And going through this process again and again, store after store, what kind of damage is that doing to the Canadian spirit?

Will all these closures scare off potential suitors?

It’s not like I’m totally without selection. There’s places where I can shop for groceries and get a pair of pajamas. Well-lit pharmacies where I can pick up prescriptions and get 40 per cent off on a bestselling paperback.

But there’s something missing. There’s not one place where I can go to for everything, a place I can wander around and get design ideas while I shop for food, and look at clothes I actually want to wear, with sizeable departments so if I’m in a hurry I don’t have to run all over the damn place.

Maybe it’s time to move beyond brick and mortar stores and embrace the future. Order everything online? But sometimes, I just don’t know what I want until I see it.

How can retail be dead anyway when the largest online retailer in the galaxy, Amazon, just opened up a store? And there was a line up around the block to get in?

I can’t help feeling like there’s something missing. Target could have been the one. But, for whatever reason, it wasn’t, and now there’s abandoned retail space that to this day sits empty and in need of revitalization. For a company that has the imagination, there’s a Target/Zellers sized hole to fill. There’s an opportunity for someone to mend the retail therapy gaps. If only someone will just step up and try.

 

Featured Image by Mike Mozart

Macy’s embraces diversity with modest line for Muslim women

Macy’s announced their intention to sell a modest clothing collection that would target Muslim women. The Verona Collection will feature “versatile, ready-to-wear pieces including maxi dresses, tops, cardigans, pants and hijabs in a variety of colours and fabrics.”

“Verona Collection is more than a clothing brand. It’s a platform for a community of women to express their personal identity and embrace fashion that makes them feel confident on the inside and outside,” said Lisa Vogl, founder of Verona Collection, in a statement. “Macy’s has been an amazing partner, helping us strengthen the foundation of our business through The Workshop at Macy’s and now introducing our brand to their consumers through this collaboration.”

Vogl said she converted to Islam in 2011 and had difficulty finding both modest and fashionable clothing in regular outlet stores. She invested $7,000 in her own online company, selling her own line while acting as businesswoman and photographer. Vogyl is a graduate of Macy’s The Workshop, a retail vendor development program supported by the department chain.

“Through The Workshop at Macy’s, we want to nurture and support minority- and women-owned businesses to build their capabilities and become the next generation of retail partners,” said Shawn Outler, Macy’s executive vice president – Licensed Businesses, Food Services and Multicultural Initiatives. “We are truly encouraged by the successes of our graduated businesses, including Verona Collection, and look forward to hosting a new class of participants this spring.”

Not everyone is thrilled about the decision. Feminists are torn — with some applauding Macy’s commitment to diversity in fashion and others criticizing the oppressive background of the hijab. The latter is causing a number of people to boycott the department store.

Verona Collection ranges in price from $12.95 to $84.95 and will be available at macys.com beginning February 15.

What do you think of Macy’s decision? Let us know in the comments below!