Business Monday: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is latest pop-up to give Aspen a try
June 10, 2018
Move over, Tesla, here comes Cadillac — with a lot of Goop.
On Friday, Goop Aspen opened its doors in the spot Tesla once occupied, putting another high-profile tenant in the space at 422 E. Cooper Ave.
The brainchild of Gwyneth Paltrow, the outspoken Oscar-winning actress, Goop is the latest pop-up retailer to crash for the short term in Aspen, where shoppers also can test drive the 2018 XT5 Crossover and the 2018 CT6 Sedan, both made by Cadillac.
Pop-up stores have come and gone in Aspen over the past few years. Long-term Aspen retailers have argued these short-term retailers hurt their business and don't create a level playing field.
Some pop-ups have opted to stick it out longer, however, such as the active-wear brand Outdoor Voices at 625 E. Hyman Ave., which opened last summer on a temporary basis but extended its lease to stay open through at least September. Another active-wear brand, Sweaty Betty at 529 E. Cooper Ave., reopened Friday and will stay open through September. The business had been open from Nov. 20 through April 1.
Goop will be open through Aug. 12, but it is keeping open the chance to stay here longer, said Blair Lawson, Goop's chief merchandising officer, in an email interview with The Aspen Times.
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"We'll do three more (pop-ups) this year, and yes, if the pop-up does well, we would definitely consider a permanent store," she said. "We recently opened a pop-up in Dallas that was supposed to close after a few months. The response we got from shoppers in Dallas was so overwhelmingly positive that we decided to keep it open for the rest of the year."
The old J Crew spot on Mill Street also is available for a pop-up tenant this summer, said broker Karen Setterfield, noting a long-term tenant has signed a lease to move in Oct. 1.
"Every situation is unique," she said about pop-ups and their success or failures in Aspen. "It really depends on the situation."
The partnership between Goop and Cadillac, meanwhile, was forged a couple of years ago when the two began hosting "Road to Table" dinner parties.
The relationship has extended to Cadillac underwriting the rent for Goop at its pop-up shops, including one in Hamptons village of Sag Harbor, Racked.com reported May 29. The benefits to Goop's sponsors, which also include Saks Fifth Avenue, includes exposure to their products in high-traffic areas.
"Cadillac is one of our longtime brand partners," Lawson said. "We work on a year-long partnership with them, which includes a number of different events, activations and content, and the Aspen store is part of this program."
Tesla's April departure from Aspen after setting up shop in December 2016 left open the opportunity for Goop and Cadillac to join forces in the Cooper mall, Lawson noted.
"In Aspen, we took over the old Tesla space with dedicated parking spaces in back so it made sense to offer test drives to shoppers," she said. "We always like to surprise and delight our shoppers, whether that's by offering something experiential (test drives and in-store events), additive (during the holidays, we have a calligrapher station to create custom complimentary gift notes) or simply Gwyneth stopping by to see how the store looks and what people are buying."
Paltrow, in fact, is scheduled to appear at the Aspen Goop on Friday, along with celebrity chef Seamus Mullen, for its launch party. Paltrow launched the Goop retail website as a so-called lifestyle brand in 2008. Goop has been no stranger to criticism, having been chided for its pricey products that the company has purported to enhance lives, including its "child-calming mist" spray and a $43 shower cap. Even so, Fortune reported in March that the company has a value of $250 million.
Aspen and Goop will be complement each other well, Lawson said.
"Gwyneth is such a fan of Aspen and has been going for years," she said. "Whenever we do a pop-up, we try to curate an assortment that is unique and particular to the local market. In our Aspen assortment we have an extensive range of athletic apparel; an expanded offering of clean beauty and wellness; a very special selection of fine jewelry; and several exclusive goop Label products designed exclusively for Aspen, including a rose plaid Elise button-down shirt and a recycled cashmere blanket."