Pop up shop

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…