UCO of the week: Maison Bouture


The pop-up store format has become very trendy of late, with such stores now appearing in many city centres. Lyon, for example, where the start-up Maison Bouture opens a low-cost plant pop-up at the Grand Hôtel-Dieu in Place du Midi for a few weeks.


This marketing strategy, which originated in the United States in the 2000s and has since become a major trend, is based on the concept of opening a physical point of sale for a limited period of time. It incorporates elements of both brick & mortar and street marketing, with organisers often creating an online event to arouse interest among both potential customers and the media. As Nicolas Hayek, founder of Swatch, one of the pioneers of the pop-up store, succinctly put it, “we come, we make noise and we leave”.


Pop-up stores offer customers something different and striking in an original and more often than not appealing physical store format.



Maison Bouture and its ‘Pop-up Gardens’

Aware of the tremendous potential that the pop-up store represents, four friends from Lyon with a passion for botany – landscape gardener Charles Brun, his wife Olivia, and co-managers François and Tiphaine Germain-Lacour – decided to launch Maison Bouture and its Jardins Ephémères (‘Pop-up Gardens’) in France and Europe. The start-up perfectly embodies the pop-up concept by selecting venues that have not only character but also a soul. Pop-up gardens have recently been created at the Mob Hotel in Lyon and even, more surprisingly, at the Chapelle du Miracle in Avignon – venues located in city centres, where customers are pleased to find a local shop where they can get advice and pick up a Hemionitis Arifolia fern or a Pilea Peperomioides, a few pots and a wicker basket. Many are even willing to queue up for the chance to get into one of these green pop-up stores, once again demonstrating the growing popularity of local formats with a strong connection to local life and sometimes even combined with local services (such as concierge services, for example).



A little treat at a lower cost

So what does Maison Bouture have to offer? Very competitive prices that allow shoppers to combine purchasing power with the pleasure of buying, a range of plants and accessories available for anything between €1 and €40, the majority being around €10. Its extremely competitive prices are possible thanks only to the very minimalist structure of the start-up itself (meaning it has few fixed costs) and the fact that it is willing to take a gamble on selling large volumes.



The urban garden: a strong emerging trend

A growing number of city dwellers are expressing an interest in plants in an attempt to bring a little piece of nature to their city centres – and even their apartments -, with 9 out of 10 French people now having a small area they can cultivate. New technologies are emerging to support novice gardeners, notably including connected flower pots that water their contents as soon as the plant is thirsty and various applications that can identify different types of plants. Gardening is certainly in vogue at the moment, and we’re not going to complain about that!