Brick-and-mortar stores still account for more than 90 percent of retail sales, so a pop-up store is a great way for retailers to understand how their brand works in a physical location.
From online retailers such as beauty brand ‘Birchbox‘ or luxury travel brand ‘Away’ who opened a pop-up hotel in Paris during Fashion Week, to traditional brick-and-mortar retailers opening pop-ups to generate sales, like Yankee Candle who opened its first pop-up store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, pop-ups are a great way of trialing a store before committing to a lease on a permanent location.
Temporary stores have enjoyed massive growth and continue to ‘pop-up’ all over the world, but before you set up a pop-up store, you need to make sure you get a few essentials right.
Here are our top 5 tips for a successful pop-store:
Holiday seasons and big occasion events always insure heavy footfall. Sporting events such as the Olympics see a massive surge in pop-ups, as well as key seasonal retail events such as summer and Christmas which see empty stores being filled temporarily or kiosks opening in malls for a limited time. Big names such as Liberty, Victoria’s Secret PINK, H&M, Toys R Us and Ferrero have all opened pop-up concepts across the globe during peak times.
What are you trying to achieve? Are you testing out a new neighborhood? Then make sure you are somewhere that can be seen and gets the passing trade – not hidden down a side road where no one walks past to get to the main area. Talk to people, find out what pop-up shops have been there before and which ones were closest to what you want to do. Not sure how to find a vacancy? Try agents such as popupspace and the Empty Shops Network
Social Media Promotion
Traditional marketing is too slow for most pop-ups – so plan ahead. Use your social media channels to create an instant buzz – it’ll be your fastest route to getting the word out. Use a hashtag and encourage interaction with your pop-up to keep the momentum going.
Storage & Design
Be aware that when you get the space, you will be starting from scratch. There’ll be nothing there so be prepared. Furthermore if the space is not big enough – where will you keep your stock? Do you need an out of town, cheaper warehouse within easy distance so you can top up quickly when supply levels get low?
Also how are you going to attract people in? Liberty’s pop-up at a Westfield mall in London was located in one of the external, quieter outdoor areas but they went full out on the stores branding and design to make it one of the center’s more exciting shop fronts with big florals and two Queen’s guard dummies flanking the doors to catch shoppers’ attention. A pop-up is an extension of your brand so you need to give it the same attention that you would for any new store opening – otherwise you’ll miss the opportunity to gather important information that will inform your decision of a permanent store.
According to the British Retail Consortium there are 9.4 per cent of shops in the UK standing vacant, whilst in the US real estate advisory firm Reis reported that mall vacancy rates in rose 0.2% to 8.3% in the third quarter 2017, meaning landlords will be more open to discuss a short term lease, rather than having a space sitting empty. Dan Thompson of the Empty Shops Network advises: ‘ Offer the person who manages the space some real benefit: a tidied, redecorated shop, an increase in footfall for neighboring shops, great publicity in local media and a high profile on social networking sites.’