Come, been and gone, its purpose served. The pop-up store in Selfridges’ Wonder Room Concept Store created by romantic fiction publisher Mills & Boon, was there for only one reason - to mark Valentine’s Day last Monday and, presumably, to shift a few volumes.
The execution was simple: two mid-shop displays and a back wall covered by posters of Mills & Boon dust jackets from yesteryear. The main table was filled with the latest from M&B, with titles under its Riva imprint such as Walk On The Wild Side, Three Weddings And A Baby and Girls’ Guide To Flirting With Danger, all vying for attention.
The poster wall was, in fact, composed of an asymmetric library wall filled with shelves where the majority of the niches were devoted to posters, with a few of the available spaces being given to more books. And then there was the museum case - a glass-topped free-standing fixture with six hardback copies of the kind of books on which Mills & Boon built its formidable reputation - a considerable distance from today’s racier numbers.
Unsurprisingly, shoppers, ironic and serious, were stopping to inspect the area, and purchases were being made (your correspondent included). It was hard not to, just for the low-cost fun of it.
But when is a pop-up store not a pop-up store? This was a very small space indeed and in days gone by, would probably have been referred to as a temporary display, given its position within a large department store. But allowing for the panache with which M&B used the space, there is every argument for letting it slip through the net and calling it, retrospectively, a pop-up.