Explaining Southern California's economy

Google and Intel stores 'pop up' in Los Angeles area for holiday shopping season

Brian Watt/KPCC

Intel's new pop-up store - also known as an 'experience store' - on Abbott Kinney Blvd. in Venice.

Tony Avelar/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Intel Corp. headquarters in Santa Clara, California. While most consumers don't buy Intel products directly, the company hopes to establish brand recognition through holiday pop-up outlets.


The pop-up store has become a way for companies to build buzz around certain brands.  This holiday shopping season some tech companies are getting into the act.

Google has opened six Winter Wonderlabs, including one in the Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park, where shoppers can check out new gadgets such as the Nexus 7 or just play interactive games. 

On Tuesday, Chip-maker Intel opens one of three national Intel Experience Stores on Abbott Kinney boulevard in Venice. 

Most consumers don’t buy products directly from Intel, but they do buy computers, laptops and tablets with Intel chips inside. With its pop-up stores in Chicago, New York, and Venice, Intel Vice President of Creative Services Kevin Sellers says the company isn’t trying to bypass the makers of the laptops and tablets that include its technology or take business away from retailers like Best Buy that sell them.

"We really are just going to use these community pop-up environments to just put a different perspective, maybe a fresh experience around the innovation that’s coming to market with the hopes that it stimulates demand,"  Sellers says.   

Sellers says visitors to the store will be able to play with new tablets, laptops and hybrid devices that feature Intel technology, and purchase them online from inside the store.

"They’re really trying to reach a new customer," says consumer and retail analyst Britt Beemer, founder of America's Research Group. He says Intel is appealing to price-driven customers who aren’t yet sensitive to the value of its technology.

"They’re going to hope that that consumer will go out and buy products and demand that Intel is part of it," Beemer says.

Though tech companies are trying the temporary store concept,  Beemer says there will be fewer pop-up stores overall. As the economy has improved, the commercial real estate where the stores can "pop up" has become harder to come by. 

"There were only half as many Halloween superstores this year as two or three years ago when there was so much vacant real estate space,"  Beemer says.  

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