Zady Goes Very Much On The Beaten Path, With A Pop Up At LaGuardia

After launching in August, the conscious consumerism startup Zady is angling to boost its profile this gifting season by setting up camp in the beating heart of holiday foot traffic: the Delta terminal at LaGuardia Airport.

For the next two months, the ecommerce site will be operating a pop up shop in the hopes of capturing the attention of harried travelers who probably need to buy last-minute gift and probably don’t want to do it at the mall. But it’s really a win-win: the shop is just as much about getting Zady’s name out there as it is about swiping credit cards.

As with many ecommerce startups, brick and mortar was on the roadmap for Zady from the get-go, founders Maxine Bedat and Soraya Darabi said, and they wanted to do something for their first holiday season. The site’s focus on pared down, quality clothing and home goods would have made it an easy match for a pop up in, say, SoHo. But sterile as it is, an airport terminal ultimately gives the brand face time with a much broader swath of people.

“We’re a small team and obviously don’t have the funds to open up everywhere, but at the airport you can interact with people across the country,” said Bedat.

Airport retail locations have proven to be a strong point of sale for luxury brands. Back in September, the Business of Fashion reported that for some labels, sales in London’s Heathrow Airport were in some cases their most lucrative locations in terms of productivity per square foot. Zady’s items of course skew lower in price and profile than a Dior or D&G handbag, but consumers’ willingness to shop in an airport terminal can only be a good thing for the startup.

Darabi and Bedat said that the decision to place the Zady pop-up in an airport was less about driving sales and more about growing brand awareness.

The 6-person Zady team, all of whom will be taking shifts at the store, had to undergo a badging process with extensive background checks, fingerprinting, and a training class on airport security. Inventory gets cleared before it enters the terminal, and the employees have to coordinate with guards to be walked through security every day.

It’s a lot of hassle in the name of a pop up, but if impressions are what Zady is going for, the effort might well be worth it.

For those who might be traveling through terminal D any time soon, just note that your Zady purchase won’t come gift wrapped, because they’re not allowed to have scissors on site.

[Image from Zady]