Bridge between underground and mainstream: “Time Split”

Store 3.0 for local Start-Ups: This attractive as well as idiosyncratic Pop-Up Store of the three founders of “Time Split” is the result of a competition launched by kplus konzept GmbH together with the manager of the Cologne Arcades, mfi AG. A perfect example of how retail concepts work today: small, mobile and adaptable! The two winners of the competition (the other one is My Hijab) have been professionally helped and advised by kplus konzept in the conceptual planning and implementation from the initiation right up to the opening. Including the creation of the plan and mood-boards for the design of product displays, to practical advice for addressing customers and photographic documentation. Also new is the idea of “Maker Labs” where the products are either manufactured or upcycled in front of the eyes of the customer.

In the beginning, the yet unmanned kplus konzept designed Pop-Up Store which stands in the basement of Cologne Arcades, inspired the three young artists, who till now were more versed in the field of presenting their upcycling and street art products at exhibitions, into their uncomplicated start as retailers. Fitting to this was the shop, with its walls in asphalt look, building site fencing as merchandise displays, and rustic maritime pine as the product presentation materials. On a blackboard, a chalked tie gave directions to the sale of customized t-shirts. Simple in design and highly effective as an original eye-catcher for the target groups: the scene culture of Kalk, as well as lovers of art and lifestyle products of all ages.

How these three Cologners experienced this, and how it continues after the Pop-Up Store (it runs until 12 April 2014) you can read in the interview here:

How did you hear about the Pop-Up Store concept in Cologne arcades?

Steven Retzlaff and Tugce Erden who live in Cologne Kalk were shopping in the arcades, and when they passed by the sample Pop-Up Store in the basement they became aware of the possibility. Steven Retzlaff had had the idea of opening his own store for some time with the motto “From Kalkers for Kalkers”. So when they heard about the promotion it was natural for them to seize the opportunity. Dominik Hebestreit also joined to support them.

What is behind Time Split?

Our creative work, whether free art or the applied design, is always an essence of many factors and influences, depending on previous experience, the knowledge, and the creative ability of the designer. Trends, moods and external influences are often incorporated in a subjective manner in our  work. “Time Split” is a symbol of our collaboration and among other things a little journey in time which is expressed in our products and works.

What makes your products so special? Who are your target groups and why should they buy your products?

Our products and creations have a young spirit, possess their own charm and character, and have never really been available for sale in this form in the market. We make lifestyle objects/accessories and produce images which are primarily on offer for a relatively low price. Our products appeal to young people who, like ourselves, come from a specific subcultural environment. These youth and scene cultures identify themselves with our products, they are a part of, or are on their way to being a part of this culture. Art enthusiasts of all ages are also attracted to our products because the art-  and everyday objects in our shop merge with another, and through this assemblage the store gets a completely new look.

Have you previously had contact with the theme of retail?

Steven Retzlaff and Dominik Hebestreit have, through several joint projects, already had some experience of exhibiting. The retail sector however is new territory for us. Through this project we are making our first real experience in this area!

How have you experienced the development process of the Pop-Up Store so far?

The last months were overall quite eventful and exciting for Steven Retzlaff and Tugce Erden. Firstly, we received the news that we were the winners of the competition, then came the product preparation and production, and finally the store opening. There were lots of challenging moments because we are also helping out on other projects or have additional part-time jobs. On the whole though, we had no problems concerning the planning and implementation of the Pop-Up Store.

What do you value mostly about the Pop-Up Store?

The Pop-Up Store is an uncomplicated variant of the retail trade which has many benefits for us. We don’t have to rent a shop or an area for an extended period of time. We can plan lots of things, but often only during the implementation of the idea do you see what it looks like and if it appeals to the customer or not, this means we are much more flexible. During setting up and implementation we benefited greatly from the professional support of kplus konzept which saved us a lot of time and endeavour. Sponsorship for a young start-up is a fine thing!

Would you recommend the idea of Pop-Up Stores to your friends?

We definitely want to set up an online shop, and we would also not be averse to dragging our shop to other vacant plots for short periods of time and being a kind of mobile exhibition or wander-store. Let’s see what the future holds for us.

What are your ideas and plans for the future?

The Pop-Up Store concept is recommendable to anyone who has an idea for a shop and would like to make it real. One needs to be aware however of the responsibilities involved and what it means to run your own store.
  • Date: 3. April 2014
  • Skills: Pop-up Store Event, Pop-up Store Design
  • Client: Köln Arcaden
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