Kakao Friends has opened its first official pop-up store in Europe at London’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. The Korean lifestyle brand features eight characters derived from a series of emoticons on Korea’s leading messenger app “Kakao Talk.”
The store will be located within Hyde Park Winter Wonderland’s Santa Land for six weeks, highlighting a range of 80 products from the new winter collection, as well as exclusive Christmas products. These include toys, plush, body pillows, gloves, earmuffs, socks and slippers as well as diverse lifestyle products such as humidifiers and mood lights.
The pop-up was announced just after Kakao chose IMG as its agency in Europe. The exclusive deal was announced in September. The initial focus for Kakao Friends in Europe was apparel and accessories, fashion accessories and homewares.
Kakao Friends includes eight characters derived from a series of emoticons on the “Kakao Talk” platform, a Korean messenger platform with more than 200 million users. Characters Apeach, Ryan, Muzi, Con, Tube, Neo, Frodo and Jay-G have already been featured in various collaborations in the past.
At the store, Kakao Friends character Ryan is dressed as Santa on the porch to welcome Londoners and tourists into the Alpine hut-styled pop-up store. The store will be lit with turbo lights all around.
Managed and produced by IMG, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is the U.K.’s leading Christmas-themed destination, featuring attractions including the world’s largest transportable wheel, the U.K.’s biggest outdoor Ice Rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom, Paddington on Ice, Bar Ice, Zippos Circus, Cirque Berserk and multiple restaurants and bars.
The Kakao Friends pop-up is the latest addition to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and aims to provide holiday gifts to Kakao fans in the U.K.