As the novelty of pop-ups wanes, brands are taking a more creative approach

Glossy – For many digitally-native DTC brands, the path toward a physical brick-and-mortar presence is clear: Open a pop-up shop, gauge interest and then open a permanent store. But Dolls Kill, a fashion brand founded in 2014 with ties to the electronic dance music subculture, is taking a somewhat alternative approach.

Beginning last week, the brand has been touring a refitted ice cream truck around the country as a traveling pop-up shop. Rather than establishing a presence in a single city or market, Dolls Kill, which recently secured $10.7 million in funding, is hoping to test the retail waters in eight different cities around the East Coast.

The pop-up was built around a single product: a combat boot the brand debuted late last year called the Billionaire Bling Boot, which sold out less than an hour after it dropped. Dolls Kill conducted a poll asking its Instagram followers how they would like to get access to the boot. and a traveling pop-up truck was the No. 1 answer. Thus was born the alliteratively titled Billionaire Bling Boot Bus Tour.

“Typically, the fashion truck retail format is a great fit for boutique brands that can’t afford a storefront, but want to test a new concept with minimal start-up costs,” said David Naumann, vp of marketing at BRP, retail consulting firm.

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