Sell-and-Run Stores a Hit with Shoppers

Oct 18, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Most people think of stores that open one day and close a few months later as a failure, but as companies from Apple Computer to Target can attest, temporary stores can go a
long way in building brand identity and retail sales.

In recent years, Target has gotten extensive press coverage for opening temporary stores on a boat anchored off the island of Manhattan during the winter holiday season as well
as summering near the Hamptons in the Bullseye Inn in Bridgehampton, N.Y.

A report in the East Bay Business Times, says Method Products has been operating a “pop-up” store in Union Square in San Francisco since mid August. The company is a manufacturer
of dish soaps, detergents and candles whose products are sold at Target and in more than 10,000 stores nationwide, including at Target. The Union Square store will close at the
end of November.

The company’s co-founder Eric Ryan said, “We have no firm plans for retail. This is not a direct business, but a way to direct people to our retail partners.”

The store is a pure marketing ploy with the company estimating the cost to be the equivalent to renting a billboard in Union Square over the same period.

Moderator’s Comments: Do you expect to see more retailers and manufacturers make use of so-called pop-up stores?
What do you believe should be the strategic objective of these temporary locations?

The success of the Union Square store has Method considering opening pop-ups in other locations. “These are people who didn’t come to Union Square with
dish soap or detergent on their shopping list,” said Eric Ryan. “This is just a pilot program, a focus group with a twist. We come to a city, create buzz for a limited amount
of time, and go away.”

George Anderson – Moderator

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