Nov 23, 2022 - Business

Global pop-up shops come to Mag Mile

Photo of the front of a store.

Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Three groovy international pop-up shops are filling previously empty North Michigan Avenue storefronts, perking up the shopping district for the holidays.

Why it matters: The Magnificent Mile lost big stores like Macy's, Gap, and Uniqlo last year, leaving nearly 30% of the shopping district vacant.

  • A denuded Mag Mile could carry deep reputational and financial consequences for the city.

What's happening: The city, World Business Chicago and the Magnificent Mile Association are collaborating on this Cultural Showcase program to address empty storefronts.

  • The program helps find locations and subsidizes the pop-up store's rent.

What they're saying: In addition to helping fill stores, "this is also an important tool to engage the city's consular corps, representing over 90 different countries, in the city's recovery," deputy mayor Samir Mayekar tells Axios. "We're incredibly proud of this program, and we believe there is nothing like this anywhere else in the country."

Photo of coffee pots in a store.
Argentine mate cups, llama toys and other handicrafts are on offer at Argentine Connection. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

The awesome international shops include Colores Mexicanos, run by two entrepreneurial sisters who import clothing, housewares, art, Christmas ornaments and more from Mexico (605 N. Michigan).

  • Nordic House is supported by the Swedish American Museum and consulates of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It offers Fjällräven bags, Marimekko tea sets, Norwegian sweaters, books, decorations and midday fika on Fridays (400 N. Michigan, Wrigley Building).
  • Argentine Connection is supported by the consulate of Argentina and features all Fair Trade handicrafts, rugs, mate cups, leather bags, clothing and empanadas (410 N. Michigan, Wrigley Building).
Photo of ornaments on display at a store.
Finnish gnomes at the Nordic House on Michigan Avenue. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios
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