A trend that has been picking up momentum throughout the United States in recent years is the opening of pop-up stores. These pop-up stores range from small indie shops originating from at-home operations to big name retailers.
Pop-up has several distinct materializations, but the basic format is that a retailer looking to sell something with a short shelf life, launch a new brand or build awareness with new customers opens a storefront for a short time period. Displays are hung up, products are stocked, business is conducted and buzz is created â€” and then itâ€™s gone.
As a concept, many retail industry commentators think the pop-up is here to stay, because it strikes both business owners and customers as a cure for retail sluggishness that has infiltrated the industry since the start of the recession.
There are now businesses catering to retailers interested in opening a temporary space, like Storefront. Businesses can find temporary spaces available around the United States without having to go door to door. However, it can be beneficial for those interested in opening a pop-up retail location to contact local stores and see if there is any interest in pairing up, which sometimes can be a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Here are some key benefits to opening a pop-up retail store:
For retail stores that want to gain exposure while minimizing its overhead costs, they are able to take advantage of premium space at a fraction of the normal cost. Because pop-up shops are often temporary in nature and smaller in size than conventional retail stores, the cost of rent is usually lower. This is especially powerful for new businesses that don’t yet have the funds to lease a more traditional retail space longterm and, if necessary, have the option of closing down the temporary location to avoid more costs from a low-sales location.
Businesses interested in venturing into pop-up retail can take advantage of having short-term or monthly leases, low initial expenses and flexibility in operations. These businesses do not have to pay large upfront costs and fees, plus are not constrained to formal business hours. In fact, a pop-up business can decide to be open for only a few hours a day when traffic and sales are expected to be high. Through this low-risk option, thereâ€™s not as much to lose and a brand can adapt to market changes easier.
The founders of Little MissMatched invested in a pop-up location because of the low risk attached with a monthly rent versus committing to a 5-year or 10-year lease. MissMatched experienced such a high level of success that it then opted to open a flagship store.
The low-cost and temporary nature of pop-up shops allow brands to engage in test marketing new products and promotions to gauge future demand. Retailers can offer products they donâ€™t normally carry in their traditional stores.
Pop-up shops are an excellent way to test locations where retailers are considering opening up a permanent location as well. With longterm leases facing many retailers opening up a physical store, a pop-up shop can lower the risk of moving into a new area by proving it out while mitigating costs and commitment.
One of the primary benefits of pop-up shops is that they help a brand generate buzz. Pop-up retail establishments are often fantastic marketing tools because they tend to draw attention from crowds. People are interested in the sudden existence of a store, especially if they have a unique angle or appearance.
This format can be especially beneficial for businesses that are primarily online. These shops provide a way to interact with customers face-to-face and also educate them about new products, services and features to help you build a following. This is perfect for brands that sell products that needs explanation, sell items that shoppers want to touch and feel before buying, or want to capture a market segment that would not normally visit the brand’s site or buy from the company online. Google launched a pop-up store in Australia last year called Androidland to introduce and educate customers on the Google Android mobile operating system.
A natural benefit of a pop-up store is increasing sales by taking your store to where your customers are and making it more convenient for them to buy from you. Isha Foundation, an international nonprofit organization that offers a variety of programs focusing on physical and mental well-being, hosts 15 major events during the year showcasing their unique programs and selling yoga-related products from the organizationâ€™s retail arm, Isha Shoppe, through a pop-up shop. With each event attracting nearly 1000 attendees, shopping takes place during short session breaks where Isha Shoppe processes hundreds of orders in just minutes.
Extended Reach for Established Businesses
Pop-up stores allow businesses to extend their reach into new locations and target new market niches without having to build new stores in those locations. Established businesses are taking advantage of using pop-up stores to promote products and strengthen its brand in strategic areas. In March 2010, Target opened a pop-up preview store to promote its new Liberty of London merchandise in New York City on Sixth Avenue next to Bryant Park. Pop-up shops can be a cost-efficient way to tap existing foot traffic of an area.
The Pop-Up Trend
The trend of pop-up retailing is becoming increasing popular due to the benefits of all parties involved. It creates opportunities for marketing, brand promotion, developing unlikely partnerships, and ultimately, higher sales.
To learn more about how ShoppinPal can help with pop-up store and event sales, request a demo.
Image credit: Le Fashion Truck