Good work from Hancox on pop-up shops. Basic issue: replacing long-term sustainable, community-built infrastructure with short-term, high-return, neoliberal commerce centres that enrich a small minority of already wealthy capitalists. Becoming a major problem in Dublin, not so much that they are particularly prevalent in the city, but rather the city’s (or at least the city’s commentariat’s) attitude to them as saviours of local culture and bright lights of hope in recessionary darkness. Bollocks so it is.
I’m starting to agree with this to an extent. I believe some are good (galleries, community spaces) in that they act as incubators for social interactions and new ideas. But the actual pop-up shops, temporary stores with commerce and profitability at their core don’t really add to the economic viability of a neighbourhood. Rather they seem to detract, aiming for short-term gains over economic enrichment.
This is my favourite part:
“Edgy, street, funky, quirky – that’s not only a full house in arsehole bingo, it also neatly explains how the pop-up serves the needs of late capitalism: it’s a lunge to inject coolness and spontaneity into consumerism, in an age when we are finally starting to realise we don’t need so much of this junk – and anyway, we really can’t afford it. Pop-ups’ short-termism and desperation for novelty also speak to the temporal logic of neoliberalism, and its most important form of communication: the press release. In an age of rolling news, depleted news gathering resources, and the churnalism that sees PR stunts often transcribed word for word into newspaper copy, ‘Something new just opened!’ is more eye-catching than, ‘Something continues to be open!’”
I love pop-up shops.
There I said it.
But man, am I finally glad that someone has put together a cohesive argument against it.
But, whatever, you know?
I still love pop-up shops.