Pop-up stores a new direction for retailers

Retailing is a tough industry to gauge. What you think is successful, isn’t and what you think won’t be successful, is. This is the case for pop-up shops, a growing segment of the retailing industry. Pop-up shops are categorized as “flash retailing,” where a company opens a small, short-term selling space.

We’ve seen this for all sorts of companies, both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. Fashion and food retailers and even magazines have jumped on the pop-up shop trend in order to use it as a marketing and promotion tool for their company. They will do it to create awareness for their brand, or to launch a new product.

The concept isn’t something new, but rather something that is becoming revitalized. Today’s pop-up shops are more for an entertainment purpose rather than a hard sell as it has been in the past. Entrepreneurs are trying to make their pop-up shop concepts innovative and fun. This works for retailers because they are trying to increase the value of shopping by providing “shoppertainment” to consumers to draw them to the stores as opposed to other channels of retail.

Photo courtesy of Business Insider.
Kate Spade’s igloo pop-up shop in Bryant Park, NY. Photo courtesy of Business Insider.

Retailers are finding that this model is extremely popular and profitable because it adds something new and different to the shopping experience. It also helps from an economic standpoint; new entrepreneurs are able to stay lean as they aren’t bogged down by having to sign leases and paying operational costs for having a storefront.Additionally, there is no time limit on pop-up shops; they can last for a few hours to a few days to even a few months. For consumers, they can meet the designers and touch their work, something they can’t do online.

Pop-up shops can come in many different forms ranging from a traditional tent set up to something more innovative such as a bus. Consumers respond well to this because it is a different way to shop and view products. These shops are eye-catching and draw consumers in, which is something retailers want. For example, Kate Spade had a pop-up shop in Bryant Park during the holiday season where they sold stocking stuffers, while also offering hot chocolate to shoppers.

It’s a smart promotional and marketing tool brands can use to showcase their company and their products. You can reach brand-loyal fans of the products and entice new shoppers. In the ever-changing world of retailing, pop-up shops are something to watch out for.

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