Buzz-building activities pop-up in Toronto

Today promises to be a special one for 25 Toronto area residents -- assuming their definition of special involves waiting in line for the opportunity to purchase up to three Jason Wu products at a Target pop-up store in Toronto and have their photo taken with the designer and Target’s mascot dog Bullseye.

Wu’s line of goods sold out quickly when it hit U.S. Target stores earlier this month and that’s sure to be the case in Toronto as the notion of limited quantities and the air of exclusivity tend to ignite the urgency gene in shoppers. 

“We’ve been looking for an opportunity to bring our new Canadian guests a taste of what they can expect when we open our first stores in 2013,” said John Morioka, SVP merchandising with Target Canada. “The buzz surrounding Jason’s line for Target has been incredible. And, given his ties to Canada, we thought this collection would serve as a great introduction to Target’s take on affordable design.”

The company knows what it is doing with pop-up stores, having executed 20 such programs over the past decade, and said it had been planning the Toronto event for awhile and even ordered different merchandise from what was available in the United States However, today’s event is more about building buzz for the Target brand than generating sales. And offering a limited assortment of merchandise in a pop-up store in the heart of Canada’s largest city a year before the company’s first stores are even due to open is a great way to accomplish that objective and reminiscent of a program many years ago when Target opened a pop up store on a boat docked on Manhattan’s waterfront. With such events, the value generated comes in the form of earned media and furtherance of Target’s image as the trend right company as opposed to any profits the company generates on the sale of goods.

Today’s event with Wu won’t be the last pop up stores Target executes in Canada before its first wave of stores open in March 2013.