There are shopping extravaganzas and buying sprees of legendary reputation that defy the mind’s eye, but as incredible as it sounds, these experiences would pale when going up against the PopUp2 Shop held this past weekend in downtown Laval.
Conceived, organized and presented to the community by the dynamic duo of Angelia Mantis and Claudia Valiante, the first-ever shopping event of this type on Laval island featured 60 vendors in a classy setting that transformed Laval’s Palace Convention Center into a veritable shopping mall, alas only for the day. But a day of days it was for about 1200 Lavallers who turned up to feast their eyes on anything the shopping heart might desire.
In time for Christmas, the well-balanced inventory included brand clothing for all, exclusive jewelry fit for royalty, seductive footwear, cosmetics, sweets, hand-made huggable animals for tots, natural foods, and more – all of it a delightful expression of festive offerings catching eyes, striking senses, and daring pocketbooks to empty their contents in a gift-gathering adventure second to none.
The future is bright
To describe the ambience as anything less than irresistible would do no justice to the care and nurturing that the organizers invested in this first, of what they announced will be, many future gatherings of this magnitude – unique, theme-oriented mobile malls for Lavallers and beyond.
“When companies like PopUp2 create great shopping experiences, people want to share those experience with others,” Angela Mantis told TLN in an on-sight late-afternoon interview amid the buzz that filled the hall from wall to wall. “Digital marketing facilitates sharing and turns shopping into social activity,” she added, in appreciation of the sizeable turn-out that made the event a resounding success.
“Social media devotees can be influencers for brands. On-line access has opened the floodgates for word of mouth advertising via product reviews. People trust reviews more than they trust what brands themselves are saying,” said Rosy D’Aversa, vendor/creator of hand-made baby clothing, and special occasion arts and crafts, with partner and daughter Amanda.
The Internet has changed the way consumers shop, even for those who do not regularly buy online, now search online prices, product specifications, and availability before heading to malls. Retailers recognize that the internet is transforming the way customers shop, re-shaping savvy shoppers’ habits. More consumers shop from home, unrestricted by store opening times.
Adapt to succeed
“Consumers today rely on others’ opinions for guidance, and they want immediate access to reviews,” said Claudia Valiante. “We have great stores right here today. People love the concept. Everyone is joyfully leaving with lots of bags.”
Several PopUp2 shoppers extolled the virtues of the mobile mall, summing up its advantages as fulfilling the need to see, touch, and handle merchandise as part of the buying experience, as well as enjoying on-the-spot availability, not having to wait for delivery.
“Shopping habits will continue to evolve with technology, and companies will have to continue to adapt to maintain relevance,” said Mrs. Mantis. “This is the raison d’étre for this exceptional shopping event,” first of many more to come for all occasions, added partner Valiante.
Regardless of preferred marketing channel, in PopUp2 these entrepreneurial young women have created a Christmas/holiday idea to add sparkle to holiday strategy. “The vendors aren’t here to compete, they’re here supporting each other,” assured Mrs. Valiante. “In fact, due to overflow response, we had to turn away 40 businesses that wanted to participate.”
An incredible job
Jewelry vendor Georgia Varoutsos said the event effectively promotes brands and retail since the venue is centrally located. “Angelia and Claudia did an incredible job, and I certainly would participate again if opportunity permits.”
Super busy host/DJ Anthony Dagger entertained excited shoppers from opening to closing. “Twelve hundred people reserved, and more kept coming and touring the huge hall checking out purchases. His electrifying voice roused the crowd, generating great excitement with upbeat music. “The shoppers were unstoppable, popping up from all directions.”
The Mantis/Valente partnership thought of everything, including the presence of trauma emergency nurse Melanie Jade who can do tests without prescription. “You never know if there are allergic reactions to a food or candy in these events, that’s why I’m here.”
Nadia Saputo, daughter of entrepreneur Lino Saputo, was present to sell her cook book, In the Kitchen with Nadia.” Known as Chef Mom, Saputo said all proceeds would go to Emma, a child suffering from leukemia, whose family has no income; the proceeds would help the family cover their expenses. The book, at $30, has sold over 2000 copies, 70 at PopUp2.
“Katherine Karambelas jewelry designs earned global presence making its way to some famous and inspiring ladies such as Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Mitsou Gelinas, Christine Cho, Maria Guzzo, and other celebrities,” Katherine proudly stated. “We were very successful at this PopUp2, busy all day, and, yes, we would do it again.” Donations from gift wrapping were earmarked for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. The Foundation grants wishes of Canadian children with life-threatening illnesses. Communications coordinator Marie Claude Murray told TLN in a telephone interview that eight volunteers of the Foundation assisted at PopUp2. Children’s Wish is committed to never refusing the wish of eligible children, ages 3 to 17. “We thank the community for giving their support,” stated Mrs. Murray.