The Future of Retail Formats: Adapting to Luxury Consumer Preferences

The retail industry has been undergoing significant transformations in recent years, driven by changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, and the rise of e-commerce.

The Future Of Retail Formats: Adapting To Luxury Consumer Preferences

The retail industry has been undergoing significant transformations in recent years, driven by changing consumer preferences, technological advancements, and the rise of e-commerce. As a result, retailers are constantly exploring new formats and strategies to stay relevant and competitive in this dynamic landscape. 

Pop-up retail, also known as flash retailing, pop-up shops or smaller format stores, has evolved from a mere trend to a staple part of many retail strategies. From new DTC and CPG brands looking to build a name to established and luxury heritage brands, no area of the retail industry remains untouched by the pop-up phenomenon. As consumer preferences continue to change and technology advances, the future of pop-up retail is set to adapt and evolve to meet these demands.

Luxury brands have embraced this trend, with Dior leading the way through its Dioriviera pop-up stores. Dioriviera began as a small pop-up store and beach capsule collection in Mykonos, Greece, in 2018. The initiative was part of a broader trend among luxury brands to create unique, short-term retail experiences for their customers. Since then, Dior has expanded the Dioriviera concept across the word, launching several pop-ups during the summer months, including Los Angeles, Shanghai, Chengdu, Italy and more.


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As part of their pop-up strategy, Dior collaborated with the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel to showcase the Dioriviera capsule collection in a mesmerizing – travel and fashion destination setting. The Dioriviera Capsule Collection Designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the Dioriviera capsule collection is created each summer, featuring the brand’s signature Toile de Jouy print and Bayadere stripes. The limited edition range includes fashion items and accessories that evoke a Mediterranean feel, perfect for the summer season. The years collection incorporated soft hues of pink and grey, blending seamlessly with the Beverly Hills Hotel’s aesthetic.

“The luxury pop-up allows both brands to leverage each other’s strengths and customer bases. The Beverly Hills Hotel, known for its world-class service and status as a cultural and fashion destination, gained additional exposure through its association with Dior. Meanwhile, Dior benefited from the hotel’s prestigious reputation and clientele, potentially attracting new customers to the brand,” said Jeanel Alvarado, Retail Expert.

The Dioriviera pop-up at the Beverly Hills Hotel was open from June 8th to September 4th, 2023. The collaboration transformed the hotel’s pool area into a fashionista’s paradise, complete with Toile de Jouy-covered lounge chairs, matching umbrellas, and cabanas. Guests could indulge in Dior-themed desserts served from an ice cream cart during weekends, adding a touch of excitement and fun to their stay.

“Dioriviera creates a sense of exclusivity and limited availability every year, which is highly valued in the luxury market. By offering exclusive items and a time-limited experience, Dior created a sense of urgency for customers to visit the pop-up and purchase the Dioriviera collection,” said Alvarado.


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In addition to the outdoor transformation, the pop-up featured a Dior boutique on the upper deck of the pool area. Designed to resemble a sandcastle, the boutique showcased the Dioriviera collection, including exclusive pieces such as a surfboard bearing the “Christian Dior” logo, yoga mats, tableware, and decorative objects. One standout item was the famous Dior Book Tote with “Beverly Hills” embroidered across the front, destined to become a collector’s item.

To learn more about the emerging pop-up trends that are shaping the brick-and-mortar shopping experience today, we sat down with Christine Nebiar, Director of & Placemaking at Brand Urban, a New York City-based real estate advisory brokerage company specializing in best-in-class food and beverage and lifestyle retail.

1. How are DTC and CPG Brands integrating these pop-ups into their marketing plans?

“If smaller, site-specific stores are part of a brand’s marketing pipeline, they tend to cater to a very specific local demographic. These pop-up experiences are strategically planned to coincide with a peak brand moment, such as the launch of a capsule collection, a limited edition drop, or a seasonal brand event.”

Nebiar continued, “Consequently, the brand needs to transform the space into a captivating brand environment that aligns with the theme or purpose of that particular moment. Designing and creating such an immersive brand experience becomes more feasible within a smaller square footage.” said Nebiar.


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“In recent years, pop-up retail has become more prominent as brands recognize the benefits of experiential marketing. These temporary stores offer carefully curated experiences that drive foot traffic and provide unique brand interactions. Pop-up shops have been used to introduce new product lines, test new markets, and generate awareness for products or causes.”

2. Why do you think retailers are making the strategic decision to focus on smaller formats?

“Smaller format stores have proven to be more efficient and advantageous for brands. These smaller stores offer several benefits, including a lower barrier to entry, access to lower rent, and reduced overhead costs.”

“In the case of pop-up stores or brand activations, which are often designed with a smaller format, tend to favor DTC and CPG brands that typically have a few types of products that are being offered, and do not require a large space to display their product lines effectively. In fact, a compact space of around 1,000 square feet is often sufficient for showcasing their offerings,” said Nebiar.

3. What are you noticing on the real estate side of things?

“We’re also noticing institutional landlords who have a concentrated mixed-use hub or large-scale development project pepper in dedicated pop-up spaces into their retail merchandising plans to establish place. These spaces are oftentimes sub 1,000 SF. Offering established brands a chance to pop up within an established corridor with access to a guaranteed population helps mix up the environment and offering, creating a true amenity, and bringing in a new audience to the site, beyond the everyday office worker or resident. If successful, pop-ups can convert into long-term leases,” said Nebiar.


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4. What type of smaller formats are retailers right now looking for?

Within densely populated urban areas, pop-up spaces serve as a valuable avenue for testing the market viability for brands. However, for the majority of brands, pop-ups present an exciting opportunity to create real-life marketing moments, particularly during crucial seasons such as holidays or fashion weeks.”

“They are also utilized in conjunction with product ‘drops’ or collaborations, enabling the establishment of a genuine brand environment that consumers can actively engage with in person,” continued Nebiar.


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5. Beyond smaller format stores, what other noteworthy trends are you seeing?

Nebiar says, “Elevated experiences that feel like home, upper floor retail spaces or those not situated on the ground floor are gaining popularity. These venues aim to recreate the ambiance of a well-appointed apartment or a cozy home. While such spaces are limited in availability, there is a growing desire for brand activations that evoke the feeling of being in a stylish home. These spaces can serve multiple purposes during the rental term, such as hosting private media dinners, providing VIP shopping experiences, or curating a series of exclusive events through RSVPs.”


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“Although not a novel concept, the scarcity of short-term spaces has fostered an increase in brand partnerships for hosting temporary activations. It goes beyond the traditional ‘shop-in-shop’ setup within established department stores or dry goods brands. Collaborations now extend to forging meaningful alliances with well-established food and beverage retailers and restaurants. Notable examples include the Mejuri x VanLeeuwen activation or the Jacquemus x Nike and Parcelle brunch, or Sweetgreen’s new initiative offering CPG brands into their store shelves – fostering and creating true collaborative moments.” said Nebiar.


Brand Urban is a New York City-based real estate advisory brokerage company. Specializing in best-in-class food and beverage and lifestyle retail, Brand Urban works with both tenants and landlords, serving as strategic consultants and leasing advisors in flagship urban and suburban markets nationwide.

Since launching the business in 2019 by its founder, Taryn Brandes, the firm has been widely recognized as a leader in growth-stage tenant representation, with services ranging from multi-unit expansion strategies in the New York Metro Region to national brokerage and advisory roles. Today, the team’s consulting-based foundation has helped develop a new division of the business in landlord representation and hospitality consulting, partnering with developers to shape communities through thoughtful placemaking and merchandising of their assets.

With a concentration in food, beverage and experiential retail targeting a like-minded demographic, Brand Urban’s team has the unique ability to identify consumer behaviors and market trends, creating successful growth strategies for its clients including brands such as Maman, Planta, Van Leeuwen, Quality Branded Restaurants, among others. For more information on Brand Urban, please visit

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