Airwalk: augmented pop-up shop

Footwear brand Airwalk has taken the shopping experience to the streets with a hybrid augmented reality/scavenger hunt that may go completely unnoticed.

Pop-up shops have gained in popularity of late, with many opting to set up short term retail units to capitalise on event specific locations or as standalone boutique destinations in their own right (Jaeger for example). However, there is a cost implication over setting up temporary premises, both in the short term construction and obtaining rights to trade in this way.

Airwalk has come up with a simple solution - make the pop-up shop invisible.

To celebrate the release of its redesigned classic Jim Shoe the brand enlisted the help of Gold Rush – an iPhone app that lets users track down, interact with and collect virtual objects placed around their city-  to develop a shopping experience that fans of the footwear had to discover.

To be able to buy one of 300 limited–edition pairs of the new trainers shoppers had to locate an image of the shoe via augmented reality around specific locations in LA and New York.  Once they had found the virtual item they could then use it to purchase the product.

The ‘Invisible Store’ concept takes elements of the flash mob and the pre-sale promotion and merges them to create a destination specific event with sales at its core.  Could other pre-sales, such as the release of concert tickets, also use this to create frenzied events surrounding the rush sale of certain touring artists?

The pre-sale frenzy, often seen in store sales with women climbing over each other to get their hands on reduced fashion, is now going virtual. Expect more ‘silent flash sales’ in the coming year.

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