Inside Aldo’s Pillow Walk Collection Pop-up

Aldo is taking over Astor Place Square to host its first consumer pop-up. The one-day activation marks a big brand moment for the shoewear company; the temporary store opens to celebrate the relaunch of its comfort-technology collection, Pillow Walk.

After successfully launching its innovative Pillow Walk technology last year, Aldo reports that 80 percent of its shoes now include the comfortable dual-density foam formula, having received shopper feedback and demand for dressier shoes that don’t sacrifice comfort.

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The Pillow Walk technology promises impact absorption, supportive padding, plush rebound and enhanced stability, made from molded sock foam, to provide extra padding at the heel and ball of the foot to absorb impact.

A major benefit of Pillow Walk is its high-density polyurethane and soft memory foam that allows customers to drop the dreaded break-in period for new shoes. Furthermore, the sock foam and sturdy outsole preserve the plush cushion rebound over time to help secure the customer’s foot in place and maintain balance while walking.

Aldo expands its Pillow Walk collection to include a wider assortment of shoes, including men’s.
Aldo expands its Pillow Walk collection to include a wider assortment of shoes, including men’s.

This patented technology is putting an end to consumers having to choose between fashion and comfort. Amanda Amar, senior director of global social media and public relations for Aldo, said that by implementing this technology in a majority of its shoes and listening to its consumers, Aldo committed to continuing to invest in technology, fit and design. “We’ve come such a long way from only sneakers or flats being synonymous with comfort, so it’ll be exciting to see just how far comfort technology can take us. Thus far, the feedback has been incredible.”

To celebrate the Pillow Walk technology and its extension to 80 percent of our men’s and ladies’ assortment as featured in the recent Barbie collaboration, the company is expanding upon its successful influencer #AldoNights events series by bringing the experience to its consumers.

“We wanted to go beyond #AldoNights and create a day-long experiential event to immerse the public,” Amar said. “Our Pillow Walk styles are more than just visually stunning and trendy — what makes them unique is that not only are they style-first, but they’re comfortable, so what better way for consumers to experience that for themselves than in-person.”

Furthermore, Amar noted that since the Pillow Walk technology is sensory, the brand wanted to embrace that and create an experience where the public can immerse themselves by touching, feeling and learning about the technology firsthand.

Aldo’s Stessy2.0 heels combine comfort and style.
Aldo’s Stessy2.0 heels combine comfort and style.

The brand’s approach to experimental retail comes from insights and retail trends that point to recent consumer behavior insights with shoppers looking for engaging and sensorial experiences with the brands they’re shopping with.

“Aldo’s always been a brand that’s pushed the boundaries, so this doesn’t feel very foreign to us,” Amar said. “From being among the first fashion brands to experiment with a live shopping platform featuring celebrity stylists, to shoppable social media campaigns and beyond, we’re huge believers in finding new and innovative ways in which to connect with and engage our customer. You need to be willing to test-and-learn, so this felt like a natural next step.”

Aldo’s pop-up is a play on experiencing comfort and style throughout the retail space. As part of their marketing strategy, Pillow Walk’s branding is seen throughout. Floor structures incorporate foam and thick vinyl to mimic the technology’s underfoot, iPad highlights the new collection’s campaign, interactive displays help consumers understand the technology and product displays for reviewing and purchasing.

Moreover, Aldo worked closely with their social media team to create a custom QR code tailored for the pop-up to engage consumers in a social media contest and win a $15 gift card on-site.

Aldo’s one-day pop-up is open all day Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Astor Place Square on East 8th Street and Lafayette Street, New York.

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