Bubble City, the unique architectural design that features a transparent and transportable bubble shaped retail and events space has been offering Miami a flexible and affordable retail solution, and brands are taking note.
Richard Lasry, the company’s founder, looks well beyond traditional brick-and-mortar structures and offers Storefront clients the ultimate in flexible temporary spaces.
“The term “pop-up” shouldn’t just be limited to the lease. That’s just one part of the flexibility the pop up concept can offer,” he says from his office in the hip Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, where he has a semi-permanent installation of his Bubble City units for rent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. “We are a true pop up structure, really a storefront or activation that can be set up anywhere, that can be taken down and re-installed over and over, and made to fit the tenants specific needs, location wise and design wise.”
Bubble City has quickly become a viable offering for retailers and brands looking for a flexible approach to market themselves. “We design and activate the structure and Storefront helps find the tenants,” Lasry says, noting the importance of focus in any business venture. “We can put these structures almost anywhere and there’s much less bureaucracy and risk from a construction, permitting and real estate standpoint than from building a permanent building,” Lasry states.
“Property owners love it – and everyone wins. We provide their space with an attractive physical structure at very low risk, Storefront provides the tenants. It’s really looking at real estate in whole different way – it’s mobile real estate, really,” he adds.
Flexibility & ‘Wow’
The bubble can be custom designed and configured, with spaces ranging from 80 square feet into the thousands. The modular structure lends itself to easy expansion and endless configuration options. And their lightweight construction makes them easy to move and set up, on any kind of surface, making the spaces move-in ready in short order.
“We can move a unit in the back of a pickup and with a couple of guys have one set up in a few hours. We have all the accessories a retailer would want – shelving, drapery, lighting, etc. It’s a turn key offering and the ultimate in flexibility because we can move them around so easily.”
Lasry points to the attention-grabbing wow factor of the bubble as a selling point for brands, noting that once inside, people still feel a physical connection to the outside, but with the comfort of being indoors. The bubbles have been used in a range of venues by retailers and brands of all types, from small entrepreneurs and retailers to giant brands like Facebook (who used a bubble as part of a trade show activation). At the recent Art Basel event in Miami, crowds flocked to the Bubble City installation to visit retailers promoting everything from fashion good and accessories, to food and health products.
Flexible retail as the future of retail
As thousands of brands look to target new locations, launch new products or create a buzz at events, flexible retail solutions like Bubble City are becoming a viable option for them.
With flexibility and low risk being the key words to the pop-up movement, listing owners can learn from making their listings as unique, visual and customizable as possible.
For Lasry, it’s all about providing retailers much more than an empty shell of four walls and a roof over their head for a short period time. “With Bubble City, the structure is part of the branding, not just a place to cover your store.”