Are pop-up shops the answer to getting reluctant shoppers back into stores?
Before the novel coronavirus pandemic, pop-up stores had become a fashionable way for retailers to generate buzz. Now some are seeing them as a way for brands and retailers to get hesitant customers back into the spirit of physical retail.
British fashion designer Stella McCartney, for example, opened her brand’s Old Bond Street flagship store in London to pop-ups of numerous local businesses to celebrate the lifting of coronavirus restrictions on U.K. retailers, according to an article on CNBC.
Brands are also finding advantageous real estate conditions that make pop-ups a good bet. A pop-up store selling NCAA gear recently opened up in a former restaurant space in downtown Indianapolis and, according to a Fox 59 report, what would have been a $15,000 short-term lease was secured for $3,000 plus 10 percent of sales.
Though the latest emerging wave of pop-up mania interest comes against the backdrop of the pandemic recovery, many of the benefits of the model that analysts are touting, and brands are discovering, remain from the pre-pandemic era.
Being able to give the shopper an experience that feels exclusive due to its limited run, for instance, is still a factor that drives traffic to pop-ups, according to CNBC.
And smaller brands are still finding the model a good way to test the physical retail waters and get out in front of otherwise difficult to reach audiences.
In the U.K., for example, a few online-only businesses have been dipping their toes into physical retail with pop-ups on Oxford Street, according to BBC News. A chocolate business, The Painted Peacock, Unhidden, a clothing brand for the disabled, and health and beauty store Seekology have signed on for one- to four-day pop-up experiences in the Central London shopping district, which was the busiest place to shop prior to the pandemic.
- Retailers look to innovate and tempt customers back to physical stores – CNBC
- Pop-up NCAA gear stores fill empty space in downtown Indy – Fox 59
- Oxford Street ‘pop-up’ shop to host online retailers – BBC News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will conditions prompt a bigger role for pop-up stores in the months and years to come? What are the keys to operating successful pop-up stores?