In the shaky retail landscape that has seen an endless shuttering of stores large and small, pop-up stores have continued to offer brands less risk and more flexibility than investing in permanent brick-and-mortar locations. And, valued at $50 billion in 2016, the pop-up industry shows no signs of slowing down.
Ross Bailey is capitalizing on this reality with his company Appear Here, a marketplace launched in 2013 that connects brands and entrepreneurs with short-term retail spaces. “Physical retail is still needed, but to tell a story,” he told Glossy earlier this year. “That demands more unique approaches.”
Appear Here founder Ross Bailey
The site features a comprehensive listing of available pop-up spaces across London, Paris and New York City, and facilitates the rental process in the same vein as Airbnb. Today, the company has raised $21 million and has worked with brands from Nike to Givenchy. Bailey, who was named one of Forbes Europe’s 30 Under 30 in 2016, has his hands full. We asked him to walk us through one of his recent busy days, detailed below.
6:30 a.m.: Drake wakes me up. I have “Controlla” playing on my alarm clock. I hit snooze, and 10 minutes later, his track “Summer’s Over” goes off. I snooze again for 10 more minutes. When I hear “Still Here,” I know it’s time to go.
7:15 a.m.: I meet my trainer for a morning workout – need that injection of serotonin!
8:15 a.m.: I walk to my first meeting along the Regent’s Canal in Islington, I love how green it is at the moment. I turn down Exmouth Market, which is one of my favorite streets in London; it’s this old cobbled Victorian street, with the coolest little shops and cafes.
8:30 a.m.: Breakfast is at Granger. I’m meeting with Mark Evans, who sits on our board. We try to catch up every month so I can run new projects and company updates by him. I order my usual: black filter coffee, an omelette with cheese and spinach, and a side of fruit. I try to eat a lot at breakfast when I’ve got a busy day ahead.
9:30 a.m.: I’m heading back to the office and on the phone with a friend — they’re setting up their own fashion label and looking for advice on opening a store in London. As soon as I get in the office, I step into our weekly product session. I love looking at new ideas on how we can improve the site — they’re always focused around customer problems we’re trying to solve. The wish list of stuff to build keeps growing.
11:00 a.m.: I’ve got an interview with a new candidate for our general manager role in France. We head to Good and Proper Tea on Leather Lane, which is a little tea shop outside the office. The founder, Emilie, started out in one of our pop-ups, and now she’s got this permanent space. It’s a great testament to Appear Here’s value. I order an iced matcha tea.
A Basics Store pop-up for Marina London, facilitated by Appear Here
12:00 p.m.: I run back to the office for a meeting with the founders of Semaine. I love their site and content; essentially, it’s a new way to shop tastemakers’ lives, and it’s strangely addictive. We catch up on a few ways we can collaborate on various projects.
2:30 p.m.: Food! I head out to one of my favorite sandwich shops, The Quality Chop House. There’s a great concept store across the street called Clerkenwell London. I love looking in there for inspiration — plus it stocks one of my favorite glasses brands, Eyevan.
3:00 p.m.: I meet with my special projects team about taking over a large space in London for a new market concept. It’s still top secret, so that’s all I can say.
4:30 p.m.: I have a supply meeting with our teams in London, New York and Paris. We bring our Paris and New York guys in through video conference. I love the fact that we’ve got teams on the ground in three of the best cities in the world; it reminds me of how far we’ve come from the early days.
5:30 p.m.: I take our office puppy out for a quick walk. She’s a French bulldog named Otto. As much as I’d love a dog, I wouldn’t be able to properly take care of one, so Otto’s the next best thing.
6:30 p.m.: I’ve got to leave work early to get to the Charity Water drinks reception at St. James’s Palace. It’s a great charity and reminds me how important it is to think about what we can be doing to make a real difference in the world.
8:00 p.m.: I head back to East London to have dinner with a couple of friends. We end up at a local restaurant in Islington. Making time to see my friends is so important, especially when I could easily lose myself in work. They always help put things in perspective — and ban me from using the phone.
11:00 p.m.: It’s almost time for bed. I read in the bath first — tonight, it’s the last chapter of “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight, the founder of Nike. There’s some Curtis Mayfield on the speakers, and I have a large glass of red. How have I already turned 40 at age 25?