See the ‘Fakery’ IRL: Johnny Cupcakes Comes to the #RICE23 Expo Hall - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

See the ‘Fakery’ IRL: Johnny Cupcakes Comes to the #RICE23 Expo Hall

The Retail Innovation Conference expo experience has been designed to provide equal parts education and inspiration. Our hundreds of exhibitor partners will be on hand, eager and willing to walk attendees through the platforms and solutions driving connected commerce success. But thanks to partners like Johnny Cupcakes and Shopify, we’re able to show attendees what these incredible retail examples look like when they are fully realized.  
The Official Johnny Cupcakes Pop-Up, powered by Shopify, will show attendees how Johnny Earle and his team bring his beloved brand to life across all channels — and even on the go! After his keynote presentation, Building Brand Hysteria, Customer Loyalty & Memorable Experiences, Johnny will head over to the floor to meet and greet attendees, talk shop and showcase his assortment of merch in a way only he can.  

Let us explain: Johnny has built his brand on the back of his love for pop culture and his love for entertaining. Initially, the brand started as a joke, based on a nickname his friends gave him. Over time, this joke turned into a highly profitable business thanks to his clever T-shirts, his role in the music scene and his love of creating brand currency from limited drops and unique designs. Johnny has taken his love of theater and whimsy to brick-and-mortar. He has named his Boston storefront “The Fakery,” and the experience definitely delivers upon the name. He stores his inventory in bakery displays, fridges and even smoking ovens. Designed like a retro bakery, The Fakery truly brings the essence of the Johnny Cupcakes brand to life.  

But if you know Johnny, you know he doesn’t like being confined to one idea. Beyond his flagship store, he has “popped up” all over the country, doing fan meetups, product scavenger hunts and even selling products out of a retro ice cream truck!

“I was in a touring metal band, so I’m used to the do-it-yourself way of doing things,” Johnny said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “When I’m traveling, I’ll bring a sack of T-shirts with me, promote on social media that I’ll be in Chicago, for example, and that I’ll be hanging by the dumpster at this McDonald’s. The first 10 people who find me will get a free T-shirt. It’s about creating that scavenger hunt moment, that remarkable moment that inspires them to explore and be curious. And yes, doing it in a way that’s a bit weird and makes them want to talk about the brand.”

Now, Johnny is popping up at the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo and he’s bringing a variety of products, from stickers and greeting cards to T-shirts (even our special event T-shirt), with him! His team will be checking visitors out using Shopify POS, so attendees can shop, chat with Johnny and test-drive the tech firsthand. The shop will be open on Wednesday, June 14 and June 15, so attendees should be sure to make time to shop!

Johnny represents everything we love about retail and everything we hope to convey through our agenda for this year’s event. That there is power in creativity, pushing boundaries and connecting with consumers in a more authentic way. And sometimes, moments of failure and uncertainty can actually unlock new ideas that can bring your business forward. Johnny is a longtime entrepreneur who is passionate about retail and has built his brand from the ground up through a lot of love and personal connection with his brand fans. That is why he is the perfect person to share insights and best practices for fostering loyalty in a climate filled with endless options and competition.

If you want to get a front-row seat for his talk, be sure to register for the Retail Innovation Conference & Expo now! Early Bird pricing will be available through May 18, so you can snag an All-Access Pass and get access to even more inspiration. The savings of $500 isn’t too shabby, either! 

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