Appear Here is an online marketplace
for pop-up spaces that entrepreneur and
designer Ross Bailey created fve years
ago in the U.K. It has since been used by
more than 150,000 brands—including
Apple and Nike—to launch concepts at
thousands of locations in London and
Paris. Last year, Bailey expanded into
New York, inking exclusive deals with the
city’s top landlords and real estate frms,
and raised more than $20 million from
investors to fund the company’s growth.
What inspired you to start Appear Here?
Even companies founded on the idea of not having physical stores have ended up launching
[pop-ups] as a way to connect with customers.
When I was looking for a space to sell my T-shirts
in London, there were whole areas of empty
storefronts [with landlords holding out for high
rents], but no website where you could see temporary real estate listings with transparent prices.
When you approach building owners about
Appear Here, how do they respond? In the
beginning, it was hard to convince landlords to
Founder and CEO,
give us a single storefront. Now we get whole
streets by [selling landlords on the idea of]
being part of a collection of beautiful stores.
Early on, we redesigned and relaunched the
retail space in one of the worst Tube stations in
London. We’ve had over 500 brands launch
there—jazz cafés, a Jamie Oliver restaurant, an
installation for Netflix. It shows how a shithole
can become the coolest place to shop.
How does your experience in retail
apparel influence your work today? Our
team is more like a creative studio than a tech
or real estate company. Personally, I’m always
working on different initiatives, like a rebranding project for Topshop, and helping a restaurant owner who lost his businesses in
Aleppo, Syria, find space and build a brand