December 10, 2015


Yesterday, mass market retailer Target opened its “part store, party holiday playground” pop-up concept in downtown Manhattan. What Target described as a collaboration inspired by Willy Wonka, Dr. Seuss and Santa Claus, this 16,000 sq foot “Wonderland” is filled with interactive activities like motion controlled video games, a giant etch-a-sketch, and a larger-than-life Lego ship and ball pit.

Wonderland isn’t just for play. This activation also serves to give insight on how shopping behavior is changing and to test Target’s “cartless shopping” retail concept. Upon entering, guests receive a mini bulls-eye lanyard with RFID technology (Radio Frequency Identification). As guests pass by the displays, they can scan the codes of the products that they are interested in to add to their “digital shopping cart.” They are then able to enjoy the rest of Wonderland hands-free and can pick up their items as they pay upon exiting.

“Best of all, Target Wonderland combines physical and digital shopping in exciting new ways, giving guests a peek at the future of retail, imagined by Target,” says their press release. Elements of Wonderland will roll-out in Target stores as they aim to make their in-store experience easier and more entertaining, and to get shoppers excited to shop offline and in-person.


Why we loved it

Target created a memorable experience for customers, which not only built brand loyalty, but also positioned themselves as a pioneer in the future of retail via media and press. Target is becoming smarter in their approach to customers, and have identified that convenience and entertainment is key.

What you can learn

Target used this pop-up to test out and give insight on their new technology and shopping behavior. You can use your pop-up to give you direct feedback from customers as well.  

What can you learn about your customers? Set goals of what you would learn, and test out new concepts. What color items seem more appealing to your shoppers? Rearrange your merchandising displays- which arrangement works best? Which silhouettes are people trying on and abandoning? Paying attention to these details can give insight on what you may want to continue with or improve on.

Also, don’t forget that convenience and entertainment is key. We have shared a few ways to make your pop-up entertaining in our marketing chapters. Stick around as we uncover how to make your in-store experience more convenient with an omnichannel strategy.

This content is from Creative CNTRL's Twelve Days of Pop-Ups: An Insider's Guide to Popping-Up for the Holidays e-book. Every day from December 1st-12th, I will unlock a new chapter of this e-book, but you can download the full e-book here.