The Stories of 2015
4 Jan 2016
2015 was a great year for ideas. From world firsts to incredible journeys, you made some amazing things happen. In fact, over 1500 of your ideas launched in London alone. Over 30% of these were from brand new businesses and it’s been great to see how fast they’ve grown. 12 months later, many of them are now in permanent stores.
2015 was also the year things started to move fast. Over 85% of our bookings were done completely online and 50% in under 48 hours (the current record is 7 mins!) We’re pretty proud of that, especially when you consider the average in the commercial property industry is 3-6 months.
It was also a year for new ventures. We created the In Residence collection, which saw one of the world’s biggest retailers, TOPSHOP TOPMAN, list space for pop-ups in store; our first Space for Ideas competition launched, to help undiscovered brands get their ideas out there; and we launched our first advertising campaign, which starred your ideas.
Most exciting of all, we’ve got over 2000 years worth of ideas registered on our platform waiting to happen. So if you’re in the midst of making New Year’s resolutions and deciding what you want to achieve, how about adding this one to the list:
This is the year I’ll make my idea happen.
Get inspired to go the extra mile and take a look at some of favourite stories from 2015...
January: The Market goes Underground.
In 2015, Sourced Market decided it was time to scale up and look for new locations. They kicked off the year with a 3 month pop-up in Old Street Station, where they ended up selling over 22,000 coffees sent Twitter into a frenzy. It was the proof they needed they were ready to expand. 12 months later, Sourced Market raised the funds and created a playbook from their pop-up to launch another 2 permanent stores in 2016.
February: Cocktails and Curls.
In February, Greek Street turned pink for Benefit’s 1950’s beauty parlour: Curl’s Best Friend. 3 floors of the Soho townhouse were transformed into a curls and cocktail bar, promoting Benefit’s new Roller Lash mascara. With over 3000 people visiting, the pop-up was a huge success, so much so Benefit decided to take it on tour across the country.
March: Cola Rain and Edible Trees.
Pepsi teamed up with The Robin Collective to create an immersive edible journey to promote their Cherry Max flavour. Featuring the UK’s first cola rain room and edible indoor cherry tree, the Pepsi Max Cherry Rooms was a gastronomical adventure for Pepsi lovers and creative foodies alike.
April: Sharing a Coke with… Rita Ora.
Hot on the heels of Pepsi, Coca Cola launched their own immersive experience. Celebrating the 100 year anniversary of their iconic contour bottle, Coca Cola created a 1915-esque bar in Soho and invited people down to enjoy a free coke. In just 3 days, almost 2000 people visited and shared their experience using #cokebottle100 – including Rita Ora.
April: From Amsterdam to London in a Kittymobile.
Meanwhile, back in Old Street Station, we were preparing for the arrival of a special visitor from Amsterdam. The founder of Poopy Cat, Thomas Vles, decided to cycle with his two cats, Mushi and Cheesy, 300 miles from Amsterdam to London in a Kittymobile (what else) to promote his first UK pop-up or ‘poop-up store’.
May: Apple Goes Undercover.
Ahead of the public launch of the iWatch, Apple came to Appear Here to book a special event space, where they could demo the iWatch to a group of key influencers and businesses. Shrouded in secrecy (even the windows were covered) the event built momentum for the launch of the watch amongst Apple’s key audience.
The space was kept top secret space, but it was somewhere round here...
May: Jamie Oliver Uses Retail Space as Media Space.
A pop-up pioneer, Jamie Oliver took over Old Street Station to raise awareness for his restaurant Fifteen, which gives disadvantaged young people the chance to train and work in hospitality. The shop in the station was the perfect advertising space for the restaurant, which as just a short walk away. Needless to say, handing out free food was a sure fire way to get the attention of Old Street’s commuters.
June: Our First Advert. Starring Your Ideas.
Marina Guergova founder of Marina London, launched The Basics Store on Redchurch Street and became the star of our first advertising campaign, along with the founders of Bailey Nelson, Press London and 26 Grains. Targeting landlord publications, we wanted to showcase the quality of brands using Appear Here and how their pop-ups created an exceptional retail experience.
July: Burgers, Beers and Beats.
At the start of 2015, Old Street Roundabout was home to a couple of wheelie bins and not much else. When we saw Burger Bear’s crowdfunding campaign for a new home in Shoreditch, we knew it would be the perfect match. It wasn't long before Burger Bear had transformed the Old Street Roundabout into one of London’s hottest foodie destinations. In July, we celebrated by hosting our summer party there.
August: The Space for Ideas Competition.
In August we partnered with the Evening Standard to help the UK’s best undiscovered brands get their ideas out there by giving away 4 shops in prime locations across London. Our 2015 winners included:
WonderLuk – a collective of 3D printed jewellery designers from across the globe.
The Mini Edit – London’s coolest concept store for kids – yes, kids fashion just got serious.
Porterlight Bicycles – custom cargo bikes designed in the UK, road tested from Romania to Kazakhstan.
Run&Fell – ethically manufactured t-shirts supporting Manchester’s local industry.
Watch the video
September: In-Residence with TOPSHOP TOPMAN.
We launched Appear Here In-Residence, giving you the opportunity to rent space inside some of world’s best department stores and boutiques. Our first collection included one of London’s most iconic fashion stores, TOPSHOP TOPMAN Oxford Circus.
October: Smiles and Selfies.
The world’s first ‘selfie service’ cafe appeared in Covent Garden. Created by Lyles Golden Syrup, it formed part of their campaign to get more people to smile before breakfast. Only accepting smiles and selfies as payment, the cafe served up bowls of creamy porridge and syrupy pancakes drizzled with Lyles Golden Syrup.
November: Press London Returns.
In April 2014, Ed Foy and Georgie Reames launched Press London from a bathtub in Old Street Station. Selling out of their juice every morning, they realised they were onto something. In just 12 months, they launched 3 permanent stores and several concessions across London, in order to keep up with demand. In November 2015, they returned to where it all started and brought the bathtub back to Old Street.
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December: Spotify Gets Physical.
To finish off the year, it was great to see one of the biggest digitally native brands move into physical retail. Spotify took the plunge and launched its first retail experience in Topshop Oxford Circus. Setting up shop in the Christmas Grotto, Spotify offered their customers the chance to listen to curated playlists tailored to Topshop’s audience and purchase half price Urbanear headphones.
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Over to you...
You’ve seen their ideas, now it’s time to make yours happen. We can't wait to see what you create in 2016 #MakeItHappen.