How to Market Your Christmas Pop-Up Store Online

Want to make your sales pop this Christmas? Festive pop-up shops are all the rage for eCommerce businesses who want to maximise their sales this season. From city centre pop-up stores to Christmas market stands, indie beer brands in Chelmsford and pop-up cheese shops in Bristol, to the big boys of eCommerce like Amazon and eBay, pop-ups are becoming a quirky new way to shop for gifts at Christmas. Hey, even Kylie Minogue has a pop-up store in London this Christmas.

In an oversaturated online marketplace, taking your online presence offline and creating a temporary pop-up store is a spectacular Christmas marketing strategy. Pop-up shops are a fantastic way to entice people into your store with the lure of being temporary. You get to build interest and excitement in your brand and test the popularity of your products face-to-face with Christmas shoppers. Add the incentive of Christmas to the time-sensitive nature of a pop-up shop and you have a compelling combination to grow your brand awareness and drive Christmas sales.

So, how do you make the switch from the online marketplace to a physical store, ensuring the benefits make the work involved worthwhile? Here, we give you expert advice on marketing your Christmas pop-up online. With our run-down of techniques for pop-up success, we’ll make sure you’re on everybody’s wish list — and that you ‘sleigh’ your company targets for 2016.


Independent design market Christmas pop-up store

  1. Design a Pop-Up Store that Reflects Your Online Brand

Retailers need customers to buy into their brand as much as their product, GfK stated in its report on the future of retail. Your physical pop-up store needs to seamlessly reflect your online brand. Creating synergy between your online and offline store will improve brand recognition, foster brand loyalty in your customers and keep them returning to your website for more, long after the pop-up has moved on.

For a Christmas pop-up, this means ensuring your pop-store signage, colour and decor reflects the look and feel of your online eCommerce store. The stronger your branding is, the more buzz you’ll be able to generate online about your pop-up store and your online store. Create mood boards with potential designs for your pop-up store to see which ideas give the look and feel you want. You can read more tips for creating an effective pop-up shop here.

Increasing your online presence with your brand’s unique image leads to increased footfall in your store, which translates into increased traffic and conversions on your site over the Christmas period, even once your pop-up store is gone.


Temporary Christmas pop-up shop in Bournemouth

  1. Promote Your Pop-Up Store on Your Website
  • Add a banner on your website — A homepage banner advertising your pop-up shop event is a great way for your current website users to learn about the event. You could include a countdown timer to increase excitement and add a sense of urgency.
  • Write a blog post — Feature the pop-up event in a blog post on your website in advance. You can direct website users here to find all the event details. The blog post can also be shared on your social media channels and email newsletter. It’s also worth writing up a blog post after the event to show off how awesome your pop-up store looked.
  • Fire out an email newsletter — Many eCommerce websites will have built up a mailing list through email newsletters or subscriptions. Use your email newsletter to let previous customers know about your upcoming pop-up store.


Bonordic pop-up shop promotional banner

  1. Promote Your Pop-Up Store on Social Media

In the run-up to the launch of your pop-up store, post promotional material about the store on your social media channels. Brands with a significant social media following will find the process of promoting and revving up to a pop-up launch a relatively simple job. However, if your social media following is low, there are still strategies you can use.

  • Create eye-catching graphics — Bold, eye-catching and shareable graphics that you can use on your social media channels are a must. Include location, date and time on the images, and create separate images to promote the ‘exclusive’ products you’ll be selling at your pop-up store.
  • Create a Facebook eventFacebook events can generate buzz about your pop-up store in the city where you’re basing yourself. After you’ve created the event, brand the page and post images. The aim is to create a well-branded Facebook event for your pop-up that will cause friends and family to invite more friends and grow organically. Use the event page to offer incentives to attend (like a discount or exclusive offer) to encourage this.
  • Create an event hashtag — A unique hashtag for your event can be used on Twitter and Instagram to keep track of engagement. Use this on all your own posts about the event in the lead-up and document the building of your pop-up store. Encourage shoppers on the day to post pics of themselves and their purchases on the day(s) your pop-up is up and running.
  • Create a Pinterest board — A pop-up shop inspiration Pinterest board where you pin images of the different products, design ideas, props and other inspirations for your pop-up store is great for brands with a Pinterest audience. This technique is particularly useful for home interiors, fashion and art brands.


Launch part at the New Mayork pop-up store

  1. Involve Bloggers and Social Media Influencers

Contact influential bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers in the area and invite them to an exclusive pre-launch party at your pop-up store. In exchange for an invite and a glass of bubbly, ask the bloggers to write a blog post about the event and ask influencers to post about your brand on their social media channels. Encourage them to take photos of the pop-up store and the products you have stocked there.

Their coverage of your event and brand gives you a chance of tapping into their devoted fan-base. This is a great way to make your business known to new customers and drive more people to your pop-up store and online shop during the Christmas period — not to mention that backlinks to your website from bloggers and online new sites will improve your website’s SEO, too.


Activities at the New Mayork pop-up store

  1. Involve the Local Press

I’m not usually one to recommend press releases, but pop-up shops make great fodder for local press. Write up a press release about your pop-up store and shoot it over to local news websites and papers in the area where the store will be, along with an invite to the pre-launch party. Pop-up shops are on trend and make for great local news articles right now. If you get featured online, you may also be able to gain valuable links back to your website, too.

Are you an eCommerce startup or small brand?

If you’re a new business or small brand and are unsure whether a pop-up store would be worth the investment, here’s a bonus tip. Pair up with other businesses in the local area to and collaborate on a pop-up store together.

If you’re an eCommerce store owner without an online presence in a specific area, you might decide to work with a brick-and-mortar store in the area to make sure your shop gets local advertising from them. If you only sell a few items, pairing up with another store is a great way to make sure your pop-up is fully stocked. You may even just pair up with a local caterer or foodie business for the launch party to gain them some local press coverage alongside your own business.

With effective online marketing of your Christmas pop-up store, your brand will see the benefits long after the snow has melted. Try using these strategies to market your pop-up store online this Christmas and enjoy the results that will give your business a jumpstart into the new year.

Author Bio: Charlie Marchant is head of digital PR and content marketing at Exposure Ninja. Charlie has years of experience providing eCommerce digital PR consultancy to companies, helping them convert the clicks they’ve been leaking into successful sales.

Ask the experts – how do I promote my event?

Peter Brünings-Hansen, Managing Director and Partner of Billetto – an events discovery platform, uses his passion for creative sector startups and interactive design to make buying tickets when you go out as easy as possible. A Scandi Tech Entrepreneur with a VC background, it’s clear that Peter has a strong vision for the company which hosts 35,000 events a year from over 15,000 organisers. We Are Pop Up spoke to him for some words of wisdom about event promotion.

Peter Brünings-Hansen

Start Early

The single biggest mistake that event organisers make is that they begin their promotion too close to the event date. Festivals typically start their early bird promotion up to 9-12 months in advance. For smaller events like food pop-ups or comedy nights, ideally a minimum of 3 weeks is needed.

Think Influencers

In our experience bloggers & local media are often superior to established mainstream media when it comes to directing relevant traffic to your event page. Cultivating ties with these influencers on social media and even in person is both a powerful and cheap/free solution to your promotion.

Reward Early Action

It can be frustrating that the bulk of tickets sell in the last week leading up to your event. You can save yourself a lot of stress and last minute panic by optimising your ticket sales across the promotion schedule. Early Birds, Competitions, Value-adds and other social engagements are great tactics for catching a customer’s eye early on.

Create Content and Tell Stories

When it comes to events, content is king and to stand out in London without a huge mailing list or a Lorde show, you really need to be creative to reach the right audiences. We’ve found that creative and engaging storytelling across social channels is key to succeed. We use everything from artwork, competitions, videos, interviews, and infographics to generate buzz in the right circles and often we ask external influencers to contribute as well.

Use Billetto

We work with over 15,000 event organisers of all kinds and sizes across Northern Europe and we know that promotion is the number 1 challenge. That is why we are continuously improving our platform to help you reach and engage relevant audiences by integrating all the tactics above into the ideal event management service.

To support Billetto, you can follow these links:
Get the app:


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“5 reasons for giving back” by Stuart Langley from Disappearing Dining Club

Disappearing Dining Club was launched by Stuart Langley in October 2010 “after too many years working for other people in bars, restaurants and members’ clubs in London, Melbourne and Ibiza, and innumerable music festivals across the UK”. Currently he runs numerous gastronomical experiences such as back in 5 Minutes, a restaurant inside a clothes shop on Brick Lane, dinner parties in unusual and surprising spaces in London and food holidays in Devon and Ibiza. Although it is a business with a focus on profit, Disappearing Dining Club is committed to more than just food and drinks. They recently started using their dinner parties to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Stuart Langley explains why this community initiative is a part of the Disappearing Dining Club philosophy.

 Stuart Langley, Dissapearing Dining Club
Stuart Langley, Dissapearing Dining Club

Here are Stuart Langley’s Top 5 reasons for giving back:

1. It’s Your Business – so why not make it a really good business?

Disappearing Dining Club is a for profit enterprise.  We want to make money.  We want to make good money.  But we want to make that money in ways that we think are ‘right’.  This includes how we look after our guests, how we price our food, how we train our staff, but also why we raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust along the way.  We do it because we can, because it’s a good thing to do, and because I think it’s my responsibility to try and make DDC the best kind of business it can be.  

2. Word of Mouth – feed the machine

We want people to talk about us and recommend us to their friends.  It’s good if people think about us as more than just a place for food and drink.  DDC is a place for music, a place for spaces, a place for discovery, a place to meet new people and make new friends.  There should always be something new and a reason to come and visit us for the first, second, third or fifteenth time.  Raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust is another thing that we and our guests can talk about.

3. Good people support good people

As a small businesses, you need ambassadors to help you grow.  People with skills, connections, resources and networks that can be shared with you, just because they like what you do.  I hope that connecting DDC with a charity at a very early stage has shown us to be a ‘good’ company run by ‘good’ people, and that other ‘good’ people will recognise that.  I have numerous helpers, advisors and mentors who have donated time and effort to help DDC become a better business.  I think the work we do with Teenage Cancer Trust has helped like-minded people to identify us as good people to work with. 

4. Align yourself with future partners

Lots of businesses support charities, and when I was looking to work with a charity I was very aware of the other businesses we might end up becoming associated with.  For me it had to be a cancer charity (my family has a longstanding and somewhat unfortunate relationship with the Big C), and I liked the idea that the money DDC raised would go to actual care – rather than just research.  It also introduced us to, or extended our relationship with other companies and brands that support TCT including Ben Sherman.  It can’t hurt to be working with people you respect towards a common goal.

5. Karma – be excellent to each other

I don’t believe in karma – but I do believe in how incredibly wrong I am about a lot of things.  So why not keep on the right side of karma eh?

To support Disappearing Dining Club, follow these links:
Twitter: @DiningClub

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“5 top tips for any pop up landlord” by Pascale Pinxt from The Kiosk

Last year we spoke to Pascale Pinxt – a fashion designer working in London as a freelance design consultant. Looking for a refreshing challenge to complement her fashion work, a derelict shelter in Bethnal Green Gardens presented itself as an opportunity to work on something completely different with community and regeneration at its core. By transferring her skills in branding and management, and applying her appreciation of good quality and taste, The Kiosk Cafe and a whole new adventure was born!

Pascale Pinxt from The Kiosk Cafe

Here Pascale Pinxt gives us her Top 5 Tips For Any Pop Up Landlord:

1. Trust your instinct

Only work with tenants you feel good about, either by getting a good feeling from chatting to them, or liking their product. That will give you the happiest working relationships. It doesn’t always matter how much experience they have, when you meet them you can tell how much passion they have and these will be the more successful ones that will boost your space and well as making success of their own business.

2. Make sure it’s the right fit

The Kiosk has its own strong identity, so we made sure we selected tenants that fitted in to that and supported it, not diffuse it. We didn’t want anyone who didn’t share the same values we did. If that meant turning tenants away and not having anyone booked in for a weekend so be it! We would rather be creative and think of something else than have a tenant in our space that we didn’t feel complemented our brand.

3. Manage your expectations

Don’t expect too much! We thought we would be taking on loads of bookings every weekend, then we realised that lots of tenants were already booked up for the summer. We made sure we weren’t too reliant on the space, so that we could be selective and also not too disappointed if we couldn’t find someone who was right for the space.

4. Work hard

Make sure that you realise that there is a lot of work involved in managing pop ups in this way. Don’t underestimate it and plan in enough time.

5. Respect your tenants

Be respectful of your tenants and their business. Because we run one as well, we understand the pressure, the work involved, the money you are risking when you are running a pop up. We want tenants to have success, so try to support this by promoting them as much as we can and considering who we are booking on the same day to be considerate of competition (i.e. don’t book two BBQs on the same day because they will have to compete directly). Sometimes this meant turning people down and us taking less rental money, but we think being supportive is really important.

The Kiosk Cafe
The Kiosk Cafe

Find your own perfect match and discover new tenants every day on

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The Revolution Will Not Be Digitalised

This article is written by: Kirstin Maguire

It’s no secret that over the past decade, eCommerce has been an innovator in the consumer market. Offering convenient, personalised, mobile shopping opportunities, the reasons for its appeal are clear. Crucially, this also means that eCommerce players have had the upper hand in collecting customer data to build their brands. What’s not as widely known, is that this is all about to change, and online innovation is about to inform bricks and mortar retail.

How online innovation informs bricks and mortar retail

Our research has found that ‘omni-channel’, which merges online and physical shopping experiences, is presenting increasing opportunities for retailers. PSKF’s Piers Fawkes says ‘We’re seeing the digital and physical worlds start to converge, creating a new model for the retail marketplace’ in his piece here, whilst Deloitte’s report, The Omnichannel Opportunity concludes that the market is prime for convergence.

Excitingly, physical shops are now using technologies, previously only available in eCommerce, to inform the in-store shopping experience, as Amanda Berglove at Brandpoint explores. Data analytics players such as RetailNext are providing a seamless shopping experience between channels for consumers, and a cost-effective data analysis for businesses.

We see companies using GPS and beacon integration to create a much more fluid physical to digital shopping experience, which amalgamates design and consumer data. A Walker Sands study found that the latest advances respond directly to the needs of consumers.

So what does this mean for your pop up?

We know the opportunities this provides are vast. Firstly, retailers can use the unique data they collect to attract more shoppers with personalised messages delivered to their mobile. Once through the door, in-store mapping (accounting for real-time factors) helps customers navigate their pathway through the store, whilst being alerted to sale products, ably-assisted by personal shoppers through mobile concierge systems, on-demand customer services and virtual fitting rooms.

All this without having to queue to pay, through EasyPay Self Mobile Checkouts, as pioneered by Apple, as well as pre-order pick-up and free next day delivery options. Puneet Mehta, CEO at MyCityWay explores this here,

This merging of online and physical shopping experiences, provides a groundbreaking opportunity for companies to build the ultimate physical shopping experience. Temporary showrooms, local events and pop-ups now provide significant innovative opportunities to build a seamless connection between online and offline retail, keeping finger on the pulse in an exciting consumer market.

Local shopping spots win out over shopping centres

Half of consumers prefer shopping local to visiting out-of-town shopping centres. The overall experience heavily factors into where they shop, meaning a failure by shopping centre managers to adapt the environment will inevitably lead to a loss of market share.

CBRE commissioned the groundbreaking ‘How Consumers Shop 2014’ report, surveying 21,000 shoppers in 21 European countries.

When it comes to consumer motivation, the high street wins on price and convenience – as well as the presence of independent shops and speciality retailers.

Importance of different factors when choosing where to shop
“What makes a shopping centre attractive?” Differences by type of centre

It pays to attract – and keep – local consumers entertained

Over half the people surveyed travel 15 minutes or less to their favourite shopping spot when it comes to non-food shopping, so it clearly pays to concentrate on attracting local customers.

Shopping areas that invest win greater consumer loyalty – especially high-earners

This week, Regent Street in London launched in-store Beacons that connect shoppers with loyalty discounts in real-time. Commissioned by The Crown Estate, Regent Street is the first shopping street in Europe to launch a co-ordinated effort across retailers, using a mobile app and Bluetooth Beacon technology.

Neighbourhood-level initiatives show the hidden advantages of high streets. Shopping centre rivals increasingly need to look beyond retail leasing, to the fundamental shopping experience and environment:

The contemporary battleground for shopping centre market share is increasingly focusing on what a shopping centre can offer in addition to pure retail sales – food and beverage, entertainment, and events – all designed to create compelling experiences for shoppers.

John Welham, Head of European Retail Investment, CBRE

Distinct clusters of countries share shopping characteristics

The survey found three major shopping trends split by geography.

‘European Mainstream’ – Europe’s core retail markets, including Britain along with France, Germany and Poland.

‘Shopping Centre Socialites’ – Ireland falls under the Mediterranean trend, who see shopping centres as ‘good places to meet friends’.

‘Utilitarian Consumers’ – Scandinavian countries who value cleanliness and retail mix over additional events and activities.

More broadly, 90% of consumers prefer to visit shops to buy, rather than purchase online. A minority – less than 20% – use tablets or smartphones during the buying process.

Shopping centres look to urban trends

Out-of-town malls are looking to trends in urban cores. Diversification and innovation are high on the agenda – with “business hub” work spaces about to open at Meadowhall.

We Are Pop Up launched the Pop Up Village at the Corio’s Boulevard Berlin earlier this year. The village shows what’s possible in shopping centres beyond traditional leased retail, providing emerging fashion labels with instant access to consumers. These brands in turn provide consumers with fresh, engaging content. The Pop Up Village showcases how shopping centres can embrace the innovation currently rising on High Streets.

5 World Cup pop ups to try in London

Pop ups are embracing World Cup fever, with soccer spots opening up especially for 2014’s biggest sporting event. Get involved!

1. Boteco Brazil

Boteco Brasil

Soho’s World Cup pop up promises a culinary and cultural experience, with inspirational food by Simone Mattar, HD screens, and art and design curated by two of the brightest minds on Brazil’s creative scene.

Boteco Brasil, The Gallery, 123 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EW

2. Fat Ronaldo’s

Fat Ronaldos

The station arches in Shoreditch are transformed into a fun space to watch football, with big screens, cold beer, palm trees and a tiki bar. Each game is a ticketed event, and tickets are selling fast (some standbys are available). Make a date with Ronaldo’s now.

Fat Ronaldo’s, 347 Old Street, EC1V 9LP or email

3. Fever Pitch

Head to Fulham for a 360 degree view of the match through 13 big screens placed end-to-end at this huge pop up bar, from the people behind The Broadway Bar and Grill. At half time, soak up the sun on the rooftop terrace, order from themed menus, or up the ante with a game of table football.

Fever Pitch, 474-476 Fulham Broadway, SW6 1BY

4. Gabbi’s Head

Gabbis Head

This pop up pub ‘for women’ includes comedy shows and makeovers alongside the matches. It’s a tongue-in-cheek marketing move from the people behind Benefit Cosmetics.

Gabbi’s Head, 150-151 Drury Lane, 1st Floor, WC2B 5TD (above the Prince of Wales)

5. Flexi Football

Inspired by the World Cup to play football? Join in with Flexi Football’s 7-a-side matches, which take place on Saturday mornings in Brixton on pop up pitches. Anyone can sign up to join in, with all games overseen by FA qualified officials.

The Evelyn Grace Academy, 255 Shakespeare Road, SE24 0QN

Pop up shops rise to the challenge

Pop ups are now a mainstay of retail life, said the Financial Times this week. They asked our CEO Nick Russell to estimate the number of pop up shops in London. Read his reply and the FT’s take on the rise of the pop ups…

Pop up stores rise to challenge of reviving retail, says Financial Times
Pop up stores rise to challenge of reviving retail, says Financial Times

From management consultant to barista: Tim Baker’s Brew Bar Coffee in Camden

Tim Baker from Brew Bar Coffee House at 11 Camden High Street shares his pop up story with us.

In my job as a management consultant, I had moments where I realised I didn’t want to go further with it. People earn good money and have done well but there’s no way I wanted to do it. I really hate management speak. I had this idea bubbling away for a couple of years for a brew bar. I always had the idea, but never saw how I was going to do it.

I considered working in coffee shops. I also looked at various websites at long term shop lets, but I saw no way I could do that. You often have to pay a premium. If I drove past somewhere empty that looked good, I’d ring up the agents, but never with any belief I’d be able to do it.

I saw We Are Pop Up and had been on a few times and saw this place in Camden. I went there and sat outside, and counted the footfall. I was happy. It was an empty property which was nice.

I went on the website and sent a message straight to the landlord. After only a couple of messages, I set up a viewing. I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I asked questions – the history of the building, the fees. I brought with me a builder which was quite useful – he could ask questions and point out any flaws. Then I went back with an interior designer. After two visits, I was happy to go ahead.

In some ways I did just close my eyes and sign. I thought, it’s only three months, so I jumped in. I didn’t want to continue doing the things I’d been doing previously. The landlord was ready to go. He did pull it for a day because it was all too quick!

I signed with an electronic signature. It was all seriously simple. I tried to make sure all the communication is on the site itself because that’s a good legal record.

Doing it on a three month license meant less risk, and I could make mistakes. There are mistakes you need to make if you’ve not run a coffee shop before.

Brew Bar interior

I did the space up in eight days. It looks quite good because I haven’t done a lot to it. It has an urban industrial feel, with concrete floors. I did it very cheaply, but I have to recover that in three months or accept the loss. There’s a negotiation between you and the landlord about what you can and can’t do. There have been minor problems, but he got someone to fix them. He put my shop sign up because he happened to have a handyman nearby, which was nice.

Brew Bar sign

The original plan was to have a proper coffee brew bar, where the first thing you see is a syphon and filter. But brewing coffee this way takes time, so I offered other options for people who want their coffee quickly.

The real focus is coffee but after opening I very quickly realised I needed food. I used We Are Pop Up to get the food side going. It brings people into the shop. I made the window space of the shop an area for food businesses, like a market stall at lunchtimes. I’ve had four different ones so far. I’ve used We Are Pop Up both as a tenant and landlord, to sublet that area.

Brew Bar food

Wifi was a real hurdle. The broadband companies want you to sign up for a year. I got a really big dongle instead, and that’s worked.

A lot of customers have come back because we were flexible at the beginning, adding food and different types of milk, like almond milk and lacto-free. It’s important to be flexible and willing to listen to what people want. But you have to balance that with consistency. For example, the heat of our coffee. Some people like it hotter, some cooler. You have to find the right balance between being flexible with customers, and developing the way you’re known for doing things. We chose an optimum temperature and stuck to it.

Brew Bar coffee

Setting up a bank account was one of the biggest challenges. Banks don’t quite understand digital documents, so I had to sign a paper lease to get a bank account.

It can be difficult to get answers out of the council, like for outside seating prices.

I’m not 100% sure if I’m going to renew, but I’ve got the option. I could go and use everything I’ve learned somewhere else, or stay here. That’s the great thing about pop ups, trying something out in a short period of time. I couldn’t have done it without We Are Pop Up.

Want to launch your very own coffee house? Or any other pop up for that matter… Head to our website and check out the hundreds of spaces currently looking for tenants, here.

Re-imagining what a pop up shop can be

Aaron Shapiro has written a great piece over on Fast Company about how larger retailers can re-imagine the role which physical stores play in their business, as customers shop more and more online. We agree with Aaron that shops are becoming venues for all sorts of exciting new activities, and the pop up movement is a big part of this. Whether you’re an online business which has never thought about going bricks and mortar, or you’re looking for new ways to energise your existing store, here are five useful twists on what a pop up can be.

Pop up as showroom
Even if your business operates mostly online, a physical shop or pop up allows customers to see your product or service in the real world, meaning they’re more likely to make that online purchase. Apple stores operate like this.

Pop up as community
Your pop up doesn’t have to sell physical products, or even anything at all. Use the space to run workshops and events, and bring people together. The School of Life and Rough Trade East both build communities around their stores.

Pop up as collection point
Perhaps you’ve run a Kickstarter campaign, and now it’s time to send out rewards. Instead of splashing cash on postage, why not set up a reward pick-up space where your funders get to connect with you instead of their postal worker?

Pop up as maker space
This is a really exciting area for pop ups, as 3D printing and other technologies are enabling design and craft types to create custom items. Best of all for customers, they get to watch their purchase being made. Tatty Devine has lasercutting machines in all its stores.

Pop up as billboard
You could buy an advertising hoarding, but a shop space is so much more effective. Your location, your signage, a peep through the windows into what’s going on inside – everything is a message to customers.

We hope this gives you some ideas for your next real world retail adventure…