In the heart of the shopping district lies the former V&D store. Unlike its counterparts in the rest of the Netherlands that are seemingly abandoned and unused, still waiting for their new owners to start their grand plans of renovations and redecoration, the lights are still on in the two floors building that housed the V&D in the center of Maastricht.
Temporama pop-up galore
The store is hastily decorated, and renamed Temporama, by the Belgian company Tempory Lane that snatches locations in Benelux to set up temporary pop-up stores. Its makeshift signs made out of printed A4 papers with the logo of Temporama, and the single filled display window full of unusual goods such as 3D machine and nostalgic watercolor painters of Maastricht drew waves of curious pedestrians in.
Temporama opens every day at 10 am except Monday, and 12pm on Sunday, with a more aggressive opening schedule than its surrounding neighbors. Inside the two of the three floors (excluding the basement) that were cleared out of its former residence and now installed with ‘shops in shop’, are pop-up stores manned by entrepreneurs that seem to tell story of Dutch creativity and resilience in bad times. But according to the initiator of the project from Temporary Lane, they are in fact Belgian entrepreneurs from Flanders that sell goods which will resonate best with its neighbor..
A bakery filled with delicious baked goods welcomes you when you enter the revived V&D. The bakery has opened in the same spot with the same equipment from its previous tenants La Place. Next to it was a young man selling wine with the persuasiveness of a salesman you do not normally find in high-end department stores. He picked out the bottle a lady wanted to buy personally, and a sales transaction occurred on the spot with him directly – no longer was there a need to find the cashier.
Instead of cramped space filled with fashion brands on the rest of ground floor, you can spot the watercolor paintings that you might want to buy just to show your support to the initiative if anything. Next to it are tables with bottles of beers brewed in a village nearby.
On the second floor you will find more pop-up stores. On the wall of one of the shop spaces hangs a Mickey Mouse mosaic. The store has no sign. A single long wooden table which looked like art but could also have been just a regular table occupied the center of the floor space. Only after a minute of searching will you find out this space seems to be an art gallery, and the unremarkable looking slabs of stones are their merchandise. Across from the art gallery you will find pots of cacti and other rather eccentric pot plants you have never imagined to find in a department store.
Despite not being able to buy anything, you might want to share your visit with everyone you know, because there is a unique, off-beat appeal to the Temporama ‘shopping mall’ resurrected from V&D, once-upon-a-time the only place to buy second-tier branded goods that you can afford on a leisurely weekend afternoon, that cannot be so easily explained.
Temporama is supposed to be open until early July, but if the vast amount of visitors to these stores on Grote Staat in Maastricht are anything to go by, you can expect it to stay a little bit longer, and possibly coming to one of the cities near you.