Pop-ups hosted by Vancouver retail giants make for great shopping this weekend

Everything from unicorn pool floats to fresh local produce

May 27, 2016

By Amanda Ross

In blisteringly hot cities like Vancouver, stratospheric real estate prices make it nearly impossible to hang a retail shingle and pursue creative pursuits at the same time. Local designers or independent brands with serious street cred routinely find themselves relegated to online stores or short-lived flash-sale-type events in off-the-beaten path locations to hawk their wares. Enter the David-and-Goliath pop-up, an ingenious way for lesser-known, independent brands to get their goods on mainstream shelves. It’s a win/win for both when big brands like Anthropologie and West Elm Market, whose local engagement is often hamstrung by one-size-fits-all corporate agendas, can partner with local purveyors and bigger independent labels who, in turn, offer instant, nimble access to the cool crowd at minimal risk to a chain’s bottom line.

You can find this Beach Riot Paradise Top and Marisol Bottom at the Nordstrom de Soleil pop-up
Beach Riot Paradise Top and Marisol Bottom available at Pop-In@Nordstrom de Soleil

Nordstrom, that fashion behemoth so deft at fostering local community and engagement, is no stranger to the pop-up. From Warby Parker and Danish home goods brand HAY to cult-fave French retailer Merci and the U.S. debut of Hong Kong fashion collective I.T, the Seattle-based department store routinely opens its doors to its four to six-week Pop-In@Nordstrom as a way to localize events and personalize its storefronts. Today it launches Pop-In@Nordstrom de Soleil (in Canada, you’ll only find it in Vancouver), with a new batch of curated goods highlighting the department store’s take on summer at the beach. Find swimwear from hard-to-find brands, embroidered straw bags, sandals, sunscreen, a rainbow unicorn pool float—and colourful hammocks made by weavers in Thailand for the temporarily landlocked. Localists can rejoice in seeing local aromatherapy phenom, Vitruvi make an appearance too—all for just a few weeks to get you prepped, primed, and shipshape for beach season.

Meanwhile, Zero Waste Market, that-little-grocer-that-could concept turning traditional food shopping on its head, opens its pop-up tomorrow in partnership with Patagonia. The Vancouver-based brand offers package-free whole foods and fresh produce concentrating on local, organic and ethically sourced items while you bring your containers and bags to reduce the environmental footprint (they’ll subtract the weight of your container).

At this weekend’s pop-up, you’ll get a cornucopia of products in bulk including grains, seeds, dried fruits, nuts, as well as chocolate from Denman Island Chocolate, coffee from Bows & Arrows, honey from Hives from Humanity and cocoa powder from East Van Roasters. Look for perfectly imperfect soap from Plenty + Spare and shampoo bars from Two Blooms, as well as local fresh produce. Stay tuned for the city’s first bricks-and-mortar location this Fall.

Pop-In@Nordstrom de Soleil
Saturday, May 28th-June 26
799 Robson St.
Mon. to Sat. 9:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun. 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Zero Waste Market + Patagonia Pop-up Shop
Saturday, May 28th
1994 W. 4th Ave.
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Cash, credit, no debit

Some treats from Zero Waste Market
Some treats from Zero Waste Market

ZWM 2- © Amanda Palmer


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