The Pop Shop were stores that sold voluminous memorabilia of artist Keith Haring's designs. Haring originally opened two Pop Shops; one at 292 Lafayette Street in SoHo (which closed in 2005) and one in Tokyo (which closed in 1988). Every area of the store was devoted to Haring's work including floor-to-ceiling murals, which provided a clubhouse atmosphere. The Tokyo Pop Shop, shipped from Tokyo to Europe was recently restored and exhibited in Saint Tropez, France by art publisher George Mulder of Berlin. Keith Haring's Pop Shop served to fulfill the artist's desire to make his iconic and beloved imagery accessible to the widest possible range of people both during his lifetime and posthumously through the Keith Haring Foundation, Inc. Haring, who viewed the Pop Shop as an extension of his work, stated:
"Here's the philosophy behind the Pop Shop: I wanted to continue the same sort of communication as with the subway drawings. I wanted to attract the same wide range of people and I wanted it to be a place where, yes, not only collectors could come, but also kids from the Bronx … this was still an art statement."
Graffiti kids from the Bronx did hang out at the New York Pop Shop, along with Soho art types, Madonna, and others. Photographer Tseng Kwong Chi recorded many events related to the creation of the Tokyo Pop Shop.
The store closure took place in an attempt to minimize the increasing expenses associated with operating a retail venture (especially in the hip urban areas). There are no plans to reopen the Pop Shop. Pop Shop merchandise, however, will continue to be available through international licensing and exhibition related projects. The Keith Haring Foundation offers Haring memorabilia through an on-line Pop Shop.
- Robert Pincus-Witten. "Keith R Us" in Elisabeth Sussman (ed) Keith Haring, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1997; page 253-260.
- Day, Elizabeth (2009-09-27). "Is it art, or is it a shop? Keith Haring's iconic Pop Shop is reborn as both". The Observer. Retrieved 2009-09-27.