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Territorialising brand experience and consumption: negotiating a role for pop-up retailing

Warnaby, Gary and Shi, Charlotte and Quinn, Lee (2019) Territorialising brand experience and consumption: negotiating a role for pop-up retailing. Journal of Consumer Culture. ISSN 1469-5405 (In Press)

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Abstract

The evolving consumption landscape creates challenges for retailers in accommodating their modus operandi to negotiate changing consumer needs, arguably requiring a ‘new’ type of retailing to hopefully facilitate future success. We suggest that an important aspect of such negotiation will be the use of ‘pop-up’ activity, and we critically evaluate the potential of these ephemeral consumption spaces to constitute and shape consumers’ brand-oriented relations and experiences into the future. Informed by the work of Deleuze and Guattari, we take a territorological perspective. Drawing on data from eight UK-based pop-up cases, we analyse: (1) how these temporary ‘territories’ of brand experience are developed and implemented; (2) what differentiates them from other, traditionally conceived, territories of brand experience; and (3) critically evaluate pop-up’s neglected characterisation in terms of a more ‘fluid’ spatial-temporal retail territory, to better understand its role in contemporary consumer culture. We posit that the development of pop-up activities occurs through the coordination of actions of a variety of stakeholders, constituting a spatial-temporal confluence of both material and processual elements to create a ‘refrain’, through the compression and compaction of interior, intermediary, exterior and annexed milieus. In doing so, we offer a new lens through which to view the creation of retail consumption spaces.

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