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Back in the day, Real Simple used to showcase items from their gift guide in malls around the country. But the merchandise wasn't for sale, frustrating shoppers who wanted suggestions for gifts they could buy on the spot. So last year, the magazine changed its approach, forgoing the mall tour for one big pop-up shop in Rockefeller Center. The store was such a success that they've returned this year, albeit in a smaller space.
The 2011 Real Simple pop-up sits in Bryant Park, surrounded by the annual holiday market and an ice rink. When we stopped by last night, it was pouring, but two determined skaters were splash-gliding around in wet, elegant circles. On a dry night, the setting would feel very Christmas-y indeed. Inside the tent, you'll find editor-selected gifts like Lego-shaped water bottles ($11.99) and gourmet ketchup ($7). One stand holds hosting and holiday books, including those from the Real Simple publishing empire, while another is dedicated to luggage from Vera Bradley (like an $84 travel tote and a $46 hatbox.)
On the far left, L'Oréal's beauty bar offers free eye touch-ups and hair touch-ups as well as product giveaways. And a stage on the right will host celebrity guests, including Mario Batali, Gail Simmons, Todd English, Carson Kressley, and Dylan Lauren. (Get the full schedule of events here.)
It's always hard to tell from a preview how popular a store will be, but given the location, we're guessing this one's going to be packed. It's already off to a good start: When Real Simple sent out an invitation to subscribers for an invite-only consumer shopping hour, they got 400 RSVPs within two hours.
· Real Simple's Holiday Shop Returns Next Week [Racked NY]
· Pop-Up Shop [Real Simple]