A non-traditional retailer in which brand discovery, not sales, is paramount, Pop Up Grocer is the brainchild of veteran CPG marketing executive Emily Schildt. Founded in 2019, the company has built nine limited-run stores in cities across the U.S., each designed to showcase trendy natural and organic brands, particularly those with limited retail distribution or sold primarily direct-to-consumer.
In March, Pop Up Grocer opened its first permanent location in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. The flagship store features a selection of 130 emerging brands that will be rotated on a quarterly basis. The shop also serves as a homebase for Pop Up Grocer, which will continue to open new short-term stores.
In this episode, Schildt spoke about the inspiration behind Pop Up Grocer, its role as an “influencer retailer” and advertiser-first business model, how the company evaluates brand performance and why you might be surprised by its curation strategy.
In this Episode
|0:44: Emily Schildt, Founder & CEO, Pop-Up Grocer – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif met with Schildt at Pop Up Grocer in Manhattan where she spoke about her work-life balance (or lack thereof) in the weeks leading up to the store’s opening, how her experience at Chobani provided her with a foundation for a career in CPG and how consulting with early-stage entrepreneurs gave way to the lightbulb moment for a pop up retail concept. She also discussed how Pop Up Grocer’s first store proved her thesis about a lack of retail opportunity for small and emerging brands, why she describes the stores as “showcases, first and foremost,” how the company tracks consumer engagement and the selection criteria for adding brands to its shelves. Later, she explained Pop Up Grocer’s influence on major chain retail buyers, how she views and incorporates trends into its business strategy, the retailer’s aesthetic and target consumer, and plans for new short-term and permanent locations.