The Beatles Play SoHo
Fifty-five years after their legendary performance at the Ed Sullivan Theater, The Beatles have come back to New York as a holiday pop-up.
Running from Dec. 11 to 22 in the SoHo district of Manhattan, the store features “the first wave of products” since Sony Music took over the licensing rights for Beatles merchandise in North America.
The mix ranges from holiday sweaters, hats and scarves to albums, books, tree ornaments, coffee mugs, branded toys, a turntable and a pinball machine. Items include an Abbey Road 50th Anniversary long sleeve tee, Help! striped pom beanies and I Feel Fine totes.
The façade of the building is wrapped in imagery from the “Yellow Submarine” movie alongside an “All You Need I Love” poster. The inside features a Beatles drum kit, a gift wrap station called Help!, Beatles videos and a red London phone booth. Visitors can snap photos of themselves in front of floor-to-ceiling “Yellow Submarine” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover backdrops.
“We don’t really do pop-up shops. It’s the first in the U.S.,” Paul Cole, merchandising and licensing director of Apple Corps Ltd., the holder of the band’s licensing rights, told Women’s Wear Daily. “The clothing looks fresh. It’s fun and appeals to a good, wide range of fans.”
Merchandise will also be available at usastore.thebeatles.com.
Numerous retailers and brands have come to SoHo with holiday pop-ups, including Kohl’s, Tupperware, Lord & Taylor, Ugg and Amazon.
Nostalgia has long been a strong trend. A Blockbuster holiday pop-up was just opened by a streetwear designer in SoHo selling Blockbuster-themed items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, backpacks, coffee mugs and totes, many of which play up the “Be Kind, Rewind” mantra. Fila, Wrangler and Long Island Ice Tea have also recently opened nostalgia-themed pop-ups.
Another hot nostalgia trend being seen celebrates TV shows, such as Friends and Seinfeld. The marketers charge a fee to experience show-related trivia games, set re-creations, props and photo-ops, while adding an extensive merchandise component. Pop-up restaurants have opened around Beverly Hills 90210, Saved by the Bell and Breaking Bad.
- Themed Pop-Up Shop Opens In SoHo – Sony Music
- Beatles Pop-up Gets Warm Welcome in SoHo – Women’s Wear Daily
- The Rachel’ Latte, Anyone? How Pop-Up Cafes Became TV’s Hottest Spinoff – Hollywood Reporter
- The Top TV and Movie Pop-Up Restaurants to Indulge Your Appetite For Nostalgia – Mandatory
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Sony’s Beatle’s-themed pop-up offer much appeal? Would nostalgia-themed pop-ups work for other entertainment properties? What are the limits or challenges to such concepts?