Pop-up shops – Changing perspective

he retail market is constantly evolving to reach new clients. We speak to We Are Pop Up’s chief marketing officer, Ilona Taillade, to take a look at pop-up shops and their growth in popularity.

The retail market is forever expanding and changing and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. For many years, the simple shop space was enough to gain customers, but as people were hit by tighter budgets as well as an influx of technology, spending habits have changed. As rents increase in highly sought after areas, you may be searching for a new solution to gain new custom. Pop-up shops may be the answer to this.

A pop up shop is a short-term retail space in a targeted location. Essentially retailers are able to rent a shop space for a day or a week on a temporary basis. Instead of having empty space, landlords are also able to fill areas on an interim basis. Ilona Taillade, chief marketing officer of We Are Pop Up said: “Pop-ups have the ability to change the way a street or shopping centre looks by presenting an idea/concept to improve the image of a location, it is an opportunity to provide a differentiator in the ‘typical’ retail format.

“We are in a new era of the way we shop; consumers have been changing their buying behaviour, which has caused a massive disturbance of the physical store landscape. Brands need to be more creative and provide experiences in order to capture the attention of the shopper and this makes way for pop-up stores and experiential marketing.”

Why are they so popular?

“Pop-up shops are setting the standards to retail innovation and trends, they are being used by well-established brands as well as newly created brands to provide a different type of shopping experience to the typical bricks and mortar store. Successful pop-ups can transition into established stores as they provide the opportunity to test concepts, location and strategies to a build brand.

“They are also popular because they have the ability to contribute to the regeneration of retail areas, which have become derelict or underappreciated. Pop-ups allow a brand for a period of typically one to three months to test a new range, offer a limited edition, explore a new market, discover a new catchment area, generate sales, meet your customers by creating a bond, offer a unique experience, energize or reposition an image of a brand name or create an event to stimulate an action in other words use the space for marketing the brand not just sales.”

What makes the shop different to others?

“The FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is the most significant differentiator, since the store is only open for a limited amount of time. Pop-ups are a novelty and focus on experience. The unpredictability of a pop-up location for example; abandoned museums, boats and churches and hotels also makes for a different experience.”

What is the benefit?

In this uncertain economic climate, opening a temporary shop can help boost seasonal sales at a heightened shopping time. A report on Britain’s pop-up retail economy by the Centre for Economics and Business Research has estimated that pop-up retailing contributes £2.3bn to the UK economy a year. Pop-ups are beneficial for brand awareness, they stimulate WOM (word of mouth), generate buzz and can also be surprisingly affordable. Instead of paying for a five to 15 year rent period – which is in fact the norm at the moment – you have the ability to check if a location is profitable and has the right time of audience with which the brand wants to engage. Ilona Taillade said: “Pop-ups have the ability to be more than just a store, providing a meaningful engagement with the shopper and also offering possibility to research your audience. By being creative, telling a story and creating an experience the pop-up becomes a valuable marketing tool.”

Could you tell me a little about the business?

“We Are Pop Up is one of Europe’s leading online property platforms for short-term leasing. It is a booking platform that directly connects brands with flexible retail spaces all over Europe and the US. Our mission is to be the easiest and best way in the world to rent retail space. With ShopShare, We Are Pop Up brings the sharing economy to retail and allows brands to pop-up within existing boutiques around the world. The world’s first social marketplace for retailers and brands, it has a peer-to-peer format where brands on the platform can message each other to collaborate on projects.

Brands can pool budgets to book larger spaces, grow their networks, and ultimately do more business. Until now, our revolutionary approach to retail has facilitated more than 4,000 projects, providing unique commercial opportunities for brands and real estate owners.”

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This feature originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of Jewellery Focus 

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