Stores Popping Up All Over the Place

Jun 26, 2009
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Temporary pop-up stores are, well, popping up all over the
place. Now is a pretty good time for temporary stores as many retailers
are reluctant to commit to a permanent space in high rent urban areas while
landlords are anxious to fill vacant space even if it is only for a limited
amount of time.

"I would say that we’re seeing an increased level of
pop-up shop activity and to a certain extent, some of their nature has
changed," John Bemis, executive vice president and director
of leasing and development for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail, told Dow Jones
"In general, pop-up shops have become a very popular marketing tool
for a wide range of interests."

"It seems to be working for the retailers really well.
As far as the brokers and their landlords, it’s not something they really…like.
But, considering the economic conditions now, it’s something they’re forced
to accept," said Amir Korangy, founder and publisher of The Real Deal.

pop-up shops don’t carry a long-term commitment, it doesn’t mean they come
cheap. In fact, a high traffic pop-up space could run a retailer up to
$200,000 just for a weekend.

Target has been one of the chains that has grabbed headlines
and driven sales with pop-up locations.

"Pop-up stores are an exciting way to present our merchandise
to the frequent and new guests, but aren’t always the appropriate venue
for our efforts," said Delia McLinden, a spokesperson for Target,
told Dow Jones. "We do feel the natural pressure to evolve
our strategies and often add creative twists."

Discussion Questions: Do you think we’ll
see an increase in pop-up stores in the future? What retailers or brands
have impressed you the most with a strategic use of pop-up stores?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

9 Comments on "Stores Popping Up All Over the Place"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Scott Knaul
Scott Knaul
11 years 10 months ago

It’s a great way for a retailer, especially in a mall environment, to test the waters and see if their brand and product can be successful in a specific environment. While it may not be cheap, it doesn’t come with the long-term lease agreements.

Kevin Graff
11 years 10 months ago

Pop-up shops are here to stay (or so I say). We’ve done work for a long time with retailers who open up shops for just the Christmas selling season and who love it (after all, if you could be in business for just the best 7 weeks of the year, wouldn’t you?).

There are always spaces available for these types of ventures, not just in tough economic times. Watch out…there’s probably a pop-up shop opening in your neighbourhood soon! (lucky you!).

David Livingston
11 years 10 months ago

I think we have a new economy that will have a continual flow of retail failures over the next several years. This will open up retail space. As more people lose their jobs and have no back-up plan, I would expect to see people raid their 401ks and purchase a franchise that advertises in the back of a business magazine. Naturally these people will fail as well, but they too will add to the pop-up craze. The Halloween stores and fireworks stands seem to have the most exposure. But look to see desperate people renting the cheapest space possible for their fly-by-night franchises as well (sub shops, coffee shops, etc).

Carol Spieckerman
11 years 10 months ago

As for true pop-up stores (those that are created for marketing purposes and to create buzz for a larger entity), I don’t see them going away anytime soon; however, I also think that the new has worn off a bit on the concept. After all, if you do something “random” enough times, it ceases to be random!

I like the guerrilla pop-up concepts that Rei Kawakubo has master-minded for Comme des Garcons over the years (in truth, I like just about anything that she does), most recently, for the label’s Black line.

Kawakubo is an artist in every sense of the word and these projects resemble carefully planned performance art more than they do contrived commercial ventures. To me, that is relevant and exciting.

Perhaps retailers would do well to break designers out of their one-off and/or proprietary brand silos and enlist them instead to co-create compelling pop-ups!

Ted Hurlbut
Ted Hurlbut
11 years 10 months ago

The available space makes pop-ups a great way for retailers to test specific concepts, but the costs of build-out and tear-down mitigate against these stores being anything more than vehicles for testing.

Liz Crawford
11 years 10 months ago

Pop-up stores are a win for everyone: shoppers, retailers and landlords. We’re sure to see more permanent retail shops when the economy recovers, but meantime there is a great opportunity to experiment with store concepts and placement. A lot of learning can be achieved in this environment for savvy retailers. I believe this is the real value of today’s pop-ups.

W. Frank Dell II
11 years 10 months ago

Pop Up stores have a place, but it is limited. Some holiday stores would simply lose money the rest of the year and therefore are not viable. Target has done well with Pop Up stores for the Christmas season when their new store will not be opened in time. Otherwise, I think consumers distrust Pop Up stores. If something goes wrong with the purchase, who do you return it to?

Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson
11 years 10 months ago

The problem with Pop up stores; locations that are not permanent are confounding to the consumer in a number of ways. If in this day and age where we are seeing a switch from acquisition marketing to a focus on engagement, retention, and loyalty the lack of a permanent location would lessen the ability for a merchant to create, engender and increase said loyalty, and actually when the temporary store is moved, and removed it will lessen the goodwill and engagement that may have been created and actually can create great damage to the brand when they are no longer accessible.

Barb Cooper
Barb Cooper
11 years 10 months ago

Pop-ups are great for testing the market. We’ve come up with a rolling vendor cart that eliminates the issues normally associated with set-up and tear-down. We can arrange the carts in different configurations and experiment with our displays. I can send more info and a picture if anyone is interested.


Take Our Instant Poll

How much more or less prevalent will pop-up stores become in the years ahead?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...