The Vitsoe pop-up shop has just closed after a brief one-week existence, but this mayfly of the retail world does much to illustrate a potential way forward for retailers looking to make more of what they do by collaborating with others.
Vitsoe is the name of the London-headquartered company that sells the furniture creations of designer Dieter Rams and last week it transformed its shop, just north of Oxford Street, into a reading room.
In-store, this meant it teamed up with Coleman Coffee Roasters and Four Corners Books to create a space where lovers of Vitsoe’s 620 chair could come, sit down, drink some coffee and leaf through the pages of books where design, rather than words, are the thing. And interestingly, there was no pressure to buy anything - this was about giving the Vitsoe name a higher profile and making sure appropriate press coverage was generated.
The store window was actually pretty austere, in tune with the pared-back, severe aesthetic that characterises Vitsoe.
Within there were several top-end minimalist, but comfortable, chairs. The store comprised two rooms, with the larger housing chairs, books and coffee-making paraphernalia. A narrow corridor took visitors to a room at the back of the store where a red-walled space played host to a desk, reading light and more books.
The environment was peaceful and relaxing and the link between coffee, books and furniture created something where the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.
It may have been a pop-up store, but it had a feel that was anything but temporary.