Retail with a Purpose: CS Hudson and Medallion Retail Team Up for Great

The holiday season might be over, but the glow remains for us as we consider the unbelievable experience of producing a pop-up for great –a pop-up which helped a community of kids in need through the CS Hudson initiative, CS Hudson Pop-Ups for Good: Live. Love. Laugh. Envision a place where over 100 children, ages 2 through 18, who have no homes and are living in a shelter, get their own VIP event, including especially created tickets along with a bus journey to a pop-up toy shop produced just for them.

Imagine that occasion –a special toy store encounter with keepsake shopping bags, held at a beautiful, safe place–a place designed to be inviting and warm for your holidays, filled with enchanting imagery and happy, uplifting colors.

This is a place filled with toys, in which the kids could choose a present for themselves–and for a few of them, possibly the only present they would receive that year. Imagine the faces: lit up with surprise and joy, faces appearing with excitement in snow falling out of a giant, life-sized interactive snow world. This is a place designed to bring them joy, love and laughter. In mid-December, this bewitching place came to life for what was, in the words of Joseph Scaretta, CS Hudson Co-CEO & Founder:”Such an exciting moment! The smiles were enormous, and the laughter was abundant. We helped to bring smiles, a feeling of normalcy and a opportunity to’be a child’ to the kids of HELP Suffolk.”

We at Medallion Retail are delighted to be part of the pop-up creation, which we designed to be a fully immersive winter wonderland, generated by a vacant storefront given by Tanger Outlets. We’re so thankful to have had the opportunity to make a difference, and honored to have partnered with CS Hudson, combined with CS Hudson’s strategic partners FASTSIGNS of Upper Saddle River, Fire Up Marketing, Tanger Outlets, Monster XP and IRG Management to deliver this pop-up to life.

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“The Pop-Ups for Great initiative employs retail to return to the community in ways that are full of pure pleasure,” said Scaretta. “In this situation, the pop-up which Medallion Retail, CS Hudson and other partners generated was a magic space for underprivileged kids and teens to play, pick out cherished gifts and experience their very own winter wonderland.”

Here is a look behind the inspirations and creation, the exceptional audience as well as the design challenges we faced.

Building the subject

When we were given the opportunity to work with CS Hudson’s Pop-Ups for Great –to create an immersive winter wonderland for those kids and adolescents (who, from HELP Suffolk, took a particular bus to the event in the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, NY)–we knew we could create something truly extraordinary. We made a mood board of each the possibilities that the space could encircle. Candy cane woods, magical woodland birds, a life-sized, interactive snow world and frosted flakes of snow were elements we wanted to include to deliver an immersive experience for kids.

Our aim was to design a pop-up which was vacation agnostic, non gender-specific and as whimsically immersive and always branded as possible. This enabled us to create a rich selection of themed art assets that we played everything, from the logo and interior design, to the entry tickets and shopping bags. The temporary tattoos applied at the merry tattoo station were branded.

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Engaging the crowd

One of the unique challenges of producing the Live. Love. Laugh. Pop-up was creating a space which would appeal to kids in the wide age range of 2 through 18.
It had to appeal both to a toddler, tween and young adult. These age groups might be vastly different, but they all share a love of enjoying and experiencing the world around themwhich they undergo interactive elements such as the temporary tattoo station and a life-sized Instagrammable snow world full of faux falling snow and snowballs.

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Another requirement was that this pop-up needed to be not specific to any vacation culture and would offer a celebratory space regardless of a child’s individual faith or customs. We created a cool-toned colour palette full of purple, ice blue, hot pink and orange, and neon green to catch the festive playfulness.

When we created this distance that had to appeal to a wide span of ages and demographics, we asked ourselves what the unifying feature was. How can we create engagement at each level? The answers helped us build experiences which could surprise and delight our entire audience.

Navigating narrow limitations

With any pop up, the parameters are somewhat different than using a permanent retail location. The idea for this pop-up was concepted and designed in two weeks so as to be fabricated on time–a much shorter lead time than we would have to get a seasonal or permanent retail display. With our strategy and capacity to catch CS Hudson’s vision the first time around, we could bring these components to fruition quickly.

A smaller pop-up place also means each foot of space is at a premium, requiring more play with less”ingredients” Having said that, there is also a certain amount of freedom created when your screens and props do not need to last. Pop-ups aren’t an investment in strength so much as an investment in effect. And in this instance, that impact was to drive awareness for the cause, to provide pleasure and joy to children in need, and to return to the community. Though only in existence for three days, this pop-up experience will resonate on a far bigger scale, and for a much longer period.

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Giving retail a purpose

Whether you are executing a full size pop-up, a store within a store or a retail display, it is possible to infuse purpose into the encounter.

● Craft an environment with universal appeal to your audience
● Push creativity to a new level with interactive components
● Produce emotional, memorable moments with imagery, iconography, colors and textures

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