Shrinking its big-city megastore model to conform to Main Street, Mars Chocolate today opened its first pop-up M&M'S World location in Hackettstown.
According to a Mars spokeswoman, the 3,000-square-foot temporary M&M'S World store, at 160 Main St., features many of the same fixtures as the company's retail flagships in tourist meccas like Times Square and the Las Vegas strip. But unlike those megastores, it will only stay open through Halloween.
Although the pop-up store's operations coincide with the retail holiday, the spokeswoman said Mars didn't consider it a factor in opening the store, noting the launch corresponds with town officials today renaming a stretch of road in front of the company's Hackettstown chocolate production facility, which currently employs more than 1,200 people less than a mile away from the pop-up store.
"We've made chocolate in Hackettstown since 1958, and we know there are a lot of M&M'S fans there, so we decided to work with Mars Chocolate and Mars Retail Group to celebrate the company's long-term connection to the community," spokeswoman Alice Nathanson said. "This is the first time we're opening a pop-up store in a community where we operate, and we're focused on making this one a success."
While the Hackettstown store holds a smaller assortment of the chocolates and merchandise sold at the flagships, it offers apparel and magnets featuring a "Made in Hackettstown" logo, with all profits from that merchandise going into the Hackettstown Business Improvement Development fund, Nathanson said.
Though Nathanson said Mars plans to open more M&M'S World stores — noting it opened a 35,000-square-foot store in London last year — she said the company will wait to gauge the temporary store's success before it considers deploying a new retail tactic to open more pop-up locations in other suburban areas, or reopen the Hackettstown site after it closes Oct. 31.