diamond geezer

 Thursday, January 21, 2016

PR Masterclass: Old Street station

Some temporary shops are opening at Old Street station. Here's how to make that sound exciting.
TfL launches pop-up festivals at Old Street Tube Station
That's right, it's our old friends 'pop-up' and 'festival', combined here to devastating effect. Admit it, you're intrigued already.
Old Street Tube station will be home to a series of festivals as part of the station's pop-up revolution that has brought unique retail experiences to the thousands of people who use it each day.
That's not just one festival but, wow, a series of festivals. This isn't just your average collection of temporary retail installations, this is a 'pop-up revolution' - something pioneering, radical, and unique. You'll not be seeing anything like Old Street station anywhere else, for sure.
The new line-up will see a roster of 'secret events', new retail concepts and a whole host of experiences for customers to discover at the station each quarter...
Most promoters baulk at organising 'secret events', because nobody turns up. Not so at Old Street. Their watchwords are novelty, discovery and variety, which are high level concepts you'd not normally expect of a row of shops.
...beginning this month with a Health and Wellbeing Festival.
Well, it is January isn't it? And at least it's not a Wellness Festival. Imagine.
The space is being curated by Appear Here, the largest online marketplace for short-term retail space who TfL has appointed to introduce pop-up shops across its retail estate.
Shops are no longer hired out, they are 'curated', specifically to create the perfect brand mix to induce customer delight. Thank heavens for Appear Here, and their mission to seamlessly connect landlords' vacant spaces to people with great ideas to create a global network of spaces so people can make their idea travel. Their words, not mine.
The transformation of the retail offer at Old Street station is part of TfL's Commercial Development plans to generate £3.4bn in non-fares revenue over the next decade to reinvest into maintaining and modernising the transport network.
Cuts to funding mean that TfL is looking to raise a million pounds a day from commercial enterprise over the next ten years. These Old Street pop-ups could contribute 0.2% of that amount, the equivalent of cutting every tube fare by 0.05p, which is not to be sniffed at.
Justin Brand, Director of Commercial Asset Management at TfL, said: `Since we launched Old Street Tube station as our pop-up retail destination, over 200 retailers have set up shop there, bringing some fantastic services and products to the 23 million people who use the station each year.'
I don't know about you, but Old Street's definitely been on my shopping radar since the outer arcades relaunched in April 2014. And that makes the subway complex not only a true 'retail destination', but also 'the world’s first underground station dedicated to ephemeral retail', according to the brochure.
`The new line up of retailers at the station will showcase some of the best brands around. The revenue that we generate from the retailers is reinvested into our transport network to deliver improved services for customers.'
Before TfL came up with this overarching concept of a themed festival, previous incarnations of 'the best brands around' included American Eagle, Microsoft and Jamie Oliver. I bet you can't wait to hear who's turning up for the inaugural Health and Wellbeing Festival.
<brand name 1> (Unit 3, 11 Jan - 7 Feb)
<brand name 1>'s mission is to ensure keeping fit is never a chore. Launching in Unit 3, they will be hosting a range of classes and events each day, enabling customers to move, fuel, shop and be mindful - without being too detox-y! They will also be bringing to life the station tunnels with experiential artwork.
It's not every curated space which allows you to fuel and be mindful, whilst simultaneously avoiding detox-ification. I'm sure we'll all be dropping in.
<brand name 2> (Unit 2, 4-31 Jan)
Founded by Anna Richey & Alla Ouvarova,<brand name 2> is the champion of egg-white based products. Appearing in Unit 2, the <brand name 1> Kitchen will be serving up delicious protein pancakes, porridge and egg white omelettes daily.
I've thought long and hard and I genuinely can't remember ever experiencing an egg-white-based pop-up before. I hope they sell meringues.
<brand name 3> (Unit 8, 18-24 Jan)
Serving their delicious dairy-free mylks, the <brand name 3> team will also be hosting breakfast clubs, 'Keep It Real Talks' and agony aunt drop in sessions with industry experts to help with New Year's resolutions.
That's not a spelling mistake, this lot do genuinely serve up something called mylk, which is a mixture of coconut water and date nectar, and which is apparently (somehow) nut-free. If you're following a vegan or paleo diet, make tracks.
<brand name 4> (Unit 8, 25 Jan - 1 Feb)
Delicious, hand-prepared, heathy food delivered straight to your door. <brand name 4> will be serving up superfood breakfasts, bright lunches and dinners, alongside a wide array of events from morning yoga to supper clubs inside their pop-up.
That is a spelling mistake. Either that or 'heathy' foods are a genuine thing, perhaps clumps of moss suspended in pondwater, or fern-frond nibbles.
<brand name 5> (Market Stalls, 4 Jan - 28 Feb)
<brand name 5> make some of the healthiest and tastiest juices available. Their juices are packed with vegetables and fruit, and never heat pasteurised which mean they are a quick and convenient way to get the nutrients your body needs.
If you're tempted by pulped kale with a hint of a ginger, be sure you to head to Old Street in person, because this lot normally only courier sixpacks in chillboxes at £17.70 a shot.
<brand name 6> (Market Stalls, 18-24 Jan)
Slow foods for a fast world! <brand name 6> will be serving up delicious bowls of beef, chicken and vegetable broth from their stall.
There was a time when TfL press releases told you about station closures, infrastructure investment and vital roadworks. And they still do that, but now they also tell you about meat soup you can buy on the way into the station, because this bears down on fares, and because that's the future.
TfL also has pop-up shops available at other stations including St. James's Park, Piccadilly Circus and Baker Street, providing exciting retail opportunities for London commuters.
Exciting retail opportunities for London commuters, from the organisation that brought you buses and trains.

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