Shop in Style at the Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up

Things To Do

Pictured: A shopping associate ready to help guests at the Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up. Photo Courtesy of Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up.

A miniature version of the famed Bal Harbour Shops in Miami arrived in early March at University Town Center. It’s called the Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up, and through the end of April, shoppers can revel in its luxurious atmosphere while shopping, dining or attending various events.

Bal Harbour Shops in Miami is no stranger to hosting temporary pop-ups for their various tenants throughout their home city, often setting up shop in hotels or other buildings for a short period. After the team hosted a larger pop-up at a Formula 1 racing event in Miami, they began to brainstorm ways to create a similar experience on a larger scale. “We thought, why don’t we find a brick-and-mortar shop that’s vacant temporarily and go into it for 30 to 60 days, operate out of it and move on to the next location as so many retailers do?” says Matthew Lazenby, the CEO of Whitman Family Development which oversees Bal Harbour’s original location and the Pop-Up. After realizing that renovating previously existing real estate wasn’t a viable option, the team landed on the idea of using shipping containers to house the Pop-Up. The question now became “Can we dutifully and faithfully recreate a part of the Bal Harbour Shops experience through what ended up being about 30 shipping containers and take them to markets that we deem appropriate for what we’re trying to do? When we’re done, can we just pick them up and move them to the next market?” Lazenby adds. “So far, the answer to that question has been yes.”

“When you arrive, it looks inviting and warm. If you’ve been to Bal Harbour Shops before, hopefully, it feels somewhat like home. All the palm trees, lush tropical foliage, water features and koi ponds are a nod to Bal Harbour Shops,” says Lazenby. To gain access to the Pop-Up, guests must download a loyalty app and provide credit card information, allowing the Pop-Up to better serve them using their personal shopper service. Once shoppers have provided their information, they become part of Bal Harbour’s loyalty program and are whisked through the Pop-Up by their very own personal shopper. Bright, bubbly and eager to assist guests with all of their needs, the personal shoppers add a sense of fun and occasion to the experience. They escort loyalty members to various shops like Tiffany and Co., Dolce and Gabbana and Golden Goose, providing suggestions and in-depth product information. Aside from shopping, guests can enjoy a delicious meal from The Whitman, the Pop-Up’s onsite restaurant, which takes its name from The Whitman by The Sea, which was owned by Lazeby’s ancestors.

While the Pop-Up is only in Sarasota for a short time, its goal is to create strong relationships with local customers. “We hope that we will have forged some relationships with customers through our personal shopping service that will endure long after we’re gone,” Lazenby adds, “so that we’re able to continue to service that customer with whatever she might need, essentially in perpetuity.”

Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up, 297 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota, balharbourshopspopup.com.

Pictured: A shopping associate ready to help guests at the Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up. Photo Courtesy of Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up.

Bal Harbour Shops Access Pop-Up

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