Why the buzzy direct-to-consumer lingerie company Lively thinks pop-ups are the future of retail

Why the buzzy direct-to-consumer lingerie company Lively thinks pop-ups are the future of retail



Though buzzy lingerie startup Lively is best known as a digitally native direct-to-consumer brand, founder and CEO Michelle Cordeiro Grant has found significant value in experimenting with pop-ups.

The company launched its first brick-and-mortar pop-up store in New York City in 2018, a temporary showcase that allowed shoppers to experience and try on the popular $35 bras in real life. Speaking at Business Insider's IGNITION Redefining Retail event on Tuesday, Grant said these stores have been vital to building community among Lively's fanbase and getting the bras in front of more prospective consumers.

"Pop-ups today are more about the experience you're giving the consumer," Grant said. "They don't need to come to a store to buy. They want to come to a store for human interaction. They need something to do that's not on their screen anymore, and that's what the pop-up gives us, it gives us a three-dimensional experience of what our brand means beyond the bra."

Grant, who previously worked for Victoria's Secret, said experiential retail has become increasingly important in an age where shoppers - particularly young millennial and Gen Z consumers - are growing tired of staring at screens all day long.


"Pre-social media and digital marketing platforms, brick-and-mortar was the place that you transacted, it was the option for where you went and bought something," she said. "Fast forward 7-10 years and people are fatigued of looking at their phones. What these pop-ups allow them to do is engage in the moments and experiences they're really interested in while transacting without all of the friction."

Arpan Podduturi, director of product at Shopify who also spoke on the panel, echoed Grant and said pop-ups provide shoppers with a reprieve from being glued to their phone screens.

"Digital fatigue is a real thing and it's a huge part of all of our lives," he said. "There's something really freeing about walking into a store and not thinking about your phone for 10 minutes and just learning about products."

Grant added that pop-ups don't have to be overly complicated nor break the bank - she said the first Lively store cost $10,000, including staff travel and meals. For Lively, pop-ups are about forging a community, and uniting not just shoppers but also brand ambassadors, she said. Today the company has nearly 1,000 ambassadors, compared to 100 in 2016.

"Brand is about human impact," she said. "It's about emotion that is sparked when they see the logo. Yes, the bra is important, but more importantly, what does the brand feel like and mean when they see the word."


Watch IGNITION: Redefining Retail live here.

NOW WATCH: Last minute gift wrapping? Here's how to wrap your present in under 2 minutes.