The Retail Revolution- Pop-up shops now popping up in Shopping Centres

We are in the midst of a retail revolution. Customers are demanding more experiences and unique offerings and less of the department store feel. Out are the stuffy, basic shopping centres and in are the exclusive shops providing particular experiences and technology immersion. Anchor stores, a once coveted spot, are left vacant, forcing shopping centre owners to re-think their strategy and work to fill the empty spaces piling up. It’s a fight to stay relevant and impress shoppers with innovative experiences.

http://www.app.com/story/money/business/consumer/2016/08/11/macys-close-100-stores/88556932/

This last year has seen several announcements of middle to large department stores closing from the likes of Macy’s, GAP, and Office Depot. Even luxury brands such as Michael Kors are pairing back their store counts, realizing that overexposure does not always equal more profit. Shoppers no longer want the standard department store or luxury shop that can be found everywhere in the world. The allure of a luxury brand is exclusivity but if it’s too accessible, it loses that appeal. This movement is causing centre owners some financial pain. Shopping centres in the UK have seen a 2% drop in footfall since July of 2016. Shoppers are bored and as we are currently in a mostly trendless season, they have little incentive to go to a mall to fill their closets with things they already have. Shopping centre owners must find other offerings to bring customers back in and keep them.

http://www.retaildesignworld.com/news/article/5795ec341a94e-new-store-with-pop-up-space-coming-to-the-barbican
Barbican in London

In a move to encourage pop-up shops to rent with them, big shopping centres such as Westfield Corp. and Simon Property Group are building “white box” stores. These stores will have a simple interior, able to transform for each brand that sets up there. These shopping centres in particular are allocating 5% of their leasable space to these places. Centres in Asia are doing even more to cash in on the pop-up store popularity. Hysan Bay in Hong Kong has hosted everything from a Nespresso pop-up shop to yoga classes hosted by Lululemon in an effort to get more people into the mall. Shopping centre owners are seeing the investment possibilities of these temporary shops.

People queue in a line at a Nutella pop-up shop in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg
People queue in a line at a Nutella pop-up shop in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

These pop-up shops are changing the “shopping centre experience”; breathing new life into an old concept. Many shoppers are tired of seeing the same concept luxury brands everywhere as they have oversaturated the market, making what was once exclusive so interesting. As well as welcoming back the once regular shoppers, pop-up shops are bringing in new clientele. The Kanye West pop-up shop in Northbrook brought customers from out-of-town that normally wouldn’t even be in that city, with attendees claiming they had driven quite a distance to get there. Rotating pop-ups encourage shoppers to keep coming back to see something different. We’ve seen successful examples of these shops for both well-known and obscure brands, each approaching the concept in a different way. As rent prices and vacancies go up, we are sure to see more of these strategies in use.

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.

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

A safer way to rent space

A safer way to rent space with We Are Pop Up

The current state of commercial property is not always pleasant, particularly for businesses looking for short-term rentals. Complex (and sometimes uncomfortable) interactions have come to define relationships between landlords, agents, and tenants. Consequently, adversarial interactions often underpin property rental transactions.

In 2013, We Are Pop Up connected over 150 businesses to transact space and launch incredible projects across the UK. We listened, and learned a lot – putting stories from our community and customers at the core of our development.

We heard about the value of knowledge and promotion, and how the We Are Pop Up community provides guidance and mutual support.  We also heard from spaces that suffered non-payment, brands burdened by opaque rental agreements, and people confused by vague, changing lists of requirements.

With that in mind, we developed an online marketplace – a new way to rent commercial property.  Our rental process not only lets you rent space safely, but also creates collaborative tenant-landlord relationships.

When we started work on the rental process, we needed the right legal partner to create a strong standard agreement – one that benefitted and protected tenants and landlords equally. Hogan Lovells developed a set of terms and agreements that work together as you move towards renting a space. Now, each brand and landlord on We Are Pop Up uses the same property law firm as Google.

How our process benefits you:

Representations 

We Are Pop Up requires tenants and landlords to make accurate and truthful representations of their businesses and properties.  That includes every action on We Are Pop Up, from profiles and messages to dates and prices.

Open discussion and transparency requires honesty. We take this commitment seriously, and remove members who do not respect community standards.

Transparent Pricing – Upfront Payment

Unexpected charges after a rental agreement puts both parties in an awkward position. We designed our agreement so that landlords declare all charges up front, before you make an agreement and send payment.
(This does not yet apply to business rates as councils collect rates directly)

Trust, Reputation and Trading Histories 

Often, no prior connection exists between the parties involved in a rental transaction. Our community includes many small businesses or independent operators that cannot yet demonstrate the same trading histories as large brands. By transacting on We Are Pop Up, you automatically build a track-record for your business, easily referenced for future transactions.

Simplicity

Parties negotiate directly through We Are Pop Up.  You do not deal with an agent or with us as an intermediary. You start conversations directly with the person managing a space. This gives you the freedom to ask questions and cover off all the details through a very fast communication channel.  You conduct negotiations through email, and We Are Pop Up maintains a record of all interactions (just in case).

Our goal is to put people in control of their own destinies, and make renting commercial property safe and easy.  Now landlords and tenants connect in an entirely new way to bring new experiences and products to their communities and consumers.

Please let us know your stories and thoughts at feedback@wearepopup.com.

How curation is changing the way commercial property works

At We Are Pop Up HQ we’ve been talking a lot about curation recently. Our most popular spaces – the ones opening their doors consistently to the brilliant projects listed on We Are Pop Up – are proving there is a new model for short-term use of space. It’s making a killing. At the heart of most of these projects are entrepreneurs – stand out individuals with real vision.

Often inspired by financial requirements, some inspirational space managers are starting to intensify their use of space and shift their focus from selling space to selling time in space. This is bringing a new set of capabilities into commercial property and has made room for a new role: that of programmer – or curator. We love the idea that the answer to many commercial property problems lie in the creative, flexible and collaborative.

These forward-thinking space curators are proving that space can be re-conceived as a platform in itself. Suddenly, spaces are able to host multiple projects simultaneously, transition quickly and constantly re-invent themselves. The history of a shop is now shaping so quickly that even the most agile data companies have no factual data on what occurs month-to-month. This is a brand new concern, thanks to the pace and innovative power of today’s businesses. Pop-up is breaking things.

As a result our community of projects can access bigger and better spaces, in bigger and better locations. Previously inaccessible units, spaces that were too large or too expensive, are finally becoming porous.

This month we support the launch of Camden Town Unlimited’s new space: Collective 159 on Camden High Street. 3,000 square feet which intends to host dozens of projects per month, simultaneously. We are helping place tenants in a new, massive and sharable retail space on Shoreditch High Street. The economics and capabilities of short-term commercial space are changing quickly, writing entirely unique stories for uses of space. We are watching it all happen, and looking forward to capturing as many of these stories as we can.

– Clara Maguire

At We Are Pop Up, Clara helps commercial space managers connect with a community of unique brands and businesses. 

A jewellery designer’s pop-up journey – Gimme That Thing

Story #3 – Gimme That Thing – A jewelery designer’s pop-up journey

Amanda Robins doesn’t take no for an answer.  She designs jewellery in Manchester, and was trading on Etsy and at local artisan markets.  A pop up shop would offer Ms. Robins and fellow artisans to an opportunity to showcase their work, and meet new customers.  The process was not easy, and she discovered a variety of friction points along the way.

In the end, her entrepreneurial spirit won out and Handmade Local became one of Manchester’s first pop-up shops.  The success of Handmade Local also helped a letting agent secure a long-term tenant for a property which had sat vacant for over a year…

“This March, I ran my own pop up shop, Handmade Local, in Didsbury, Manchester and included the creations of over twenty local artists / designers. I stocked fine art, ceramics, handknitted fashion, retro baby clothes, soaps, lotions and potions, cards, fibre art, craft kits, quirky soft toys and a whole heap more.

Heaps of pop up shop wares via Gimme That Thang

“It was open for 5 weeks, a couple weeks longer than I was looking for, but this was the shortest time that the landlord would rent the premises for. A difficult thing for me as the organiser was to find shop contents insurance for that short period. I ended up being covered by a company who specialise in artists’ cover.

Two days before the Handmade Local pop up shop opened:

The shop before opening

“This is the shop once it had been dressed:

 The Dressed Shop

“The most difficult aspect of this venture was actually finding premises. Pop up shops are practically unheard of in this area and it took me a year to find a landlord or estate agent who was willing to accommodate me. None of them would let premises for less than three years. My shop, which had laid empty for over a year, was viewed via the agent while it was in my hands and consequently it is now being rented out on a long-term lease.

Beautiful items from Gimme That Thang on Etsy

Paris Earrings, Vintage-Style Eiffel Tower Glass Retro Jewelry

“As a jewellery designer I was able to sell my own items and promote the artisan markets that I take part in each month.  I now have several repeat customers from the strength of running Handmade Local.”

——

Gimme That Thing

http://www.etsy.com/shop/gimmethatthing

chicitarobins@yahoo.co.uk

https://twitter.com/GimmeThatThing

The Shop is dead. Long live the shop.

Pop-Down Square Cinema Area, Mike Lim, Shoichi Sado, Olivia Wright and Isobel Davies @PopDownSquare

Good article in The Times this weekend by Matthew-Paris about the future of shopping.

The internet changes how we buy and think, but old memes and behaviours take time to change:

“Thus we suppose that shopping and walking are somehow connected, and Americans suppose that shopping and driving are somehow connected. And everyone thinks a shop is a place — a place in a place; a place you go to and, being a place in a place you go to, will thus be either a specialist shop in a mixed cluster, or a “supermarket” or “department store” with the cluster under one roof. The news that these places can now be virtual, accessed on your screen, hardly needs to be laboured. “

As the role of the shop – a place in a place – changes, so no doubt will the way we search, select and transact real spaces. Does it alter the value of space? Does it change the ability or desire to ‘sell’ in real spaces? Whilst an increasing number of our transactions become virtual, our desire to meet and experience the real world, real things, real people, real products seems more permanent than the ‘form’ this engagement might take.

Thats where WeArePopUp.com can help. By enabling people to say what they mean by a shop – by allowing people to propose what a ‘shop’ should be – for what use, over what time at what price, with what activity with which collaborators.

“But still that hand from the past grips us… [finally] online shops (though not online shopping) will prove — like the out-of-town shopping centres that the internet killed, like the traditional high streets that the shopping centres killed, and like the street vendors and markets that the high streets killed — merely transitional.”

Offline shops are changing but activity, offline shopping, will transition to new forms – the shop is dead, long live the shop.

Why Your Mobile & Retail Strategy Should Emulate Samsung’s

Samsung is a master at consumers choice. Samsung offers a mobile phone to suit every customer’s requirements, at all price points, on a variety of different operating systems, while its rivals offer a restricted or – in the case of Apple – no choice.

Analyzing the products available from the top five handset and smartphone manufacturers tells a very interesting story. In the US alone, Samsung offers 153 different cell phones! Samsung also knocked Apple off its perch to become the best-loved smartphone vendor in the US-based Brand Keys 2013 Customer Loyalty Index.

Will we see this sort of thing soon in the m-payments/pos/retail space? What if you could plug any merchant account or and banking facility into a set of tools to help you run your business rather than sitting in one particular silo? What about customer service – click & collect, browse online, buy offline, vise vera.. As in mobile, retailers that offer their customers a widest variety of options possible, for them to pick which ever is most convenient, will provide the best retail experience.

If you like stats, you’ll love: The big compendium of global mobile stats. Read more here.

Pop Up Shop Story : Atomica Gallery looks forward

In a previous post, we shared the story of Finchittida Finch’sdf pop-up: a shop developed from scratch by a previously online-only business. This week we’re happy to introduce Atomica Gallery (@atomicagallery), one of the few truly pop-up art galleries which ran from December 4th – 24th this past holiday season. They’ve recently secured a long-term space in Hackney and we were eager to know what the journey has been like to go from pop-up to full shop.

We met up with Atomica Gallery founders Orla and Holly over coffee and brownies to hear more about what it is like to be a start-up gallery, and how the pop-up model has helped facilitate their goals and opened new doors. Holly is an experienced gallerist, working in both Sydney and Los Angeles with a number of the artists they currently show. And Orla’s background in promotion and events ensures that their openings generate a healthy buzz. Their penchant for the strange, retro, punk and pop combined in curious and lovely ways at their December pop-up. The relentless attention to detail both within the works themselves as well as their weird and simple curation proved that big explosions can be contained in small packages.

Orla and Holly came to their selected artists in an unconventional way, “Some of the artists we show have been close to us for a very long time. But we also love showcasing previously un-seen artists or those that may never have been shown in London before.” It was clear that a real challenge of curating a show with so many great artists to choose from – especially in a concise space – is the selection. For their pop-up, Holly and Orla printed out copies of all of their favorite artists’ work (hundreds!) and went through the process of whittling down to just a select few. But they are constantly on the hunt for yet-to-be-discovered artists in the UK and beyond, “We have a huge list of artists that we want to work with. We stumble across a lot of amazing artists through blogs and circumstance. So it’s not like we only want to work with established names, and we are always open to chance.”

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The Inside of Atomica Gallery’s Pop-up in Shoreditch

An Advisor at Hackney Business Enterprise encouraged Atomica to do pop-ups as a way to ‘test-trade.’ By launching a new project this way, fresh businesses are able to develop a strong sense of themselves and learn through experience without the risks and investment required for longer-term rentals. But sourcing a great space, for the short or long-term, is always a challenge.

Holly explained the difficulties they had locating and accessing the right spot for their pop-up, “When we were looking for our December pop-up space, it was really stressful. We thought of many potential places around East London initially, but as it was our first big showcase we wanted an area with high traffic, and that was already warm to the idea of a pop-up. Getting exposure and building a following was one of the most important things we hoped to achieve with our pop-up. Shoreditch seemed like an ideal part of town to get the kinds of visibility and interest we needed.” And so they set about with an unconventional campaign: dropping 1-page offers reading “We Would Like To Rent Your Shop,” into the mail slots of every suitable shop.

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Atomica’s Elegant Solution To Driving Footfall

Orla explained, “We got quite a few calls back, but a lot of people didn’t even know what a pop-up was, or else they expected that we would want the space over many months, and expected us to provide full fit-outs. A few weeks with minimal developments to the space was a hard sell. But we found a great place eventually.” While their pop-up was a success in terms of sales and exposure, their extensive list of artists and a growing catalogue of work meant that a longer-term space was in order.

Their new shop is part of a series of newly converted shop-spaces managed by Hackney Downs Studios. These new locations are playing host to a series of new businesses, from bikes to a bakery and all within 5 minutes from Kingsland Road – one of the busiest streets in the area. Their full-time shop will launch soon (stay tuned on the Atomica Gallery website), but future pop-ups are still a part of Orla and Holly’s future plans, “Because we’re off the beaten track in Hackney, it will give us a great opportunity to connect with a local audience. But we also want to make sure Atomica Gallery can travel to other parts of London and beyond. Some in West and South London, and we’re also thinking about Brighton. We haven’t confirmed anything yet, but doing a kind of tour would be great – a few days or weekends in new locations. We really want to make sure we have a chance to showcase our artists in places that wouldn’t see their work otherwise.”

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Atomica Gallery’s Founders: Orla and Holly

We asked where Atomica Gallery saw itself a few years down the line. Holly shared, “we have done this all on our own. We’re slightly in debt but it’s working. Our new shop is quite a small one. Our dream is to have two, so that we could have simultaneous projects on. The initial plan was to have ‘art for sale’ in one location seven days a week, and then a second with rotating exhibitions. We’re learning as we go. Every week is a learning experience. Anything can happen, really.”

We’re eager for their new shop to launch, and we’ll see you at the opening!

Follow Atomica Gallery on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
And sign up to their Newsletter for updates on their next event!

Welcome To The Future Of Retail – Part 3

In previous posts we have highlighted some of the recent changes to bricks-and-mortar landscape: increasing vacancy rates, reduced consumer spending and lower footfall.These trends are contributing to the rise of short-term “pop-up” retail both in the UK and internationally. However, We Are Pop Up also think this is the beginning of a structural change in the way we use space, rather than just an economic cycle which will fade in time.

Some of the social and technological forces that are changing consumer activity will have profound consequences for both shop space and brands, and offer a great opportunity for those that can capture the imagination of a new audience. For facts and figures about the Rise Of The Mobile Audience, see our overview here.

MAKING YOUR STORE YOUR STAGE


There are an increasing number of retailers seeking to enhance engagement, from Levi’s Craft Of Music campaign, to Westfield’s Future Fashion events, exciting fashion start-ups like TheEdit @wearetheco and the Vogue-sponsored Fashion Night Out across London’s West End. Even pure-play online retailers like Capital One or eBay are increasingly experimenting with physical spaces and pop-ups to build engagement.

It may seem obvious, but physical engagement with a brand or community or product is the core advantage that a ‘shop’ – or increasingly ‘pop-up’ – enjoys over an online experience.  Mobile computing is an agent in this physical to digital (or vise versa) journey.

The number of ways in which we can participate in a shopping experience is multiplying. We can share our experiences with our social media audience and are provided with digitally enhanced forms of service in-store. Just see how John Lewis bridges this gap with digital kiosks and incentives that cross platforms. For a new generation of retail, these steps are the key to engagement and profitable loyalty.

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Hot Tub Cinema – a traveling theater and hot tub experience in London.

How To Engage In The Digital Age

It is estimated that the Vogue Fashion Night Out, for instance, increased footfall across Bond Street by a remarkable 92% – and a recent conversation with Caireen Wackett at Yellow Door reminded me what Mary Portas said back in September 2011:

“The only way for bricks and mortar retailers to compete with online is brilliant real life shopping experiences. Retail is no longer about number of units on the shop floor – it’s about offering a playground for your customers. Throwing big exciting events is one way to draw a crowd – but I believe the High Street should invest in better experiences for their customers every day.”

Big exciting events – the “theatre” of the retail world – don’t scale particularly well on the marketing and PR budget line. But mobile is a channel that can deliver personalized and exciting engagement everyday (remembering the late Steve Jobs’ caveat to “start with the experience, then work back to the technology”). A solution that can combine someone’s recent search history and preferences, the time of day, a particular location or even the last thing they bought, opens up the potential for far more nuanced and meaningful business-to-consumer journeys.

This more nuanced engagement delivers a more ‘authentic’ experience that all parts of the retail spectrum are currently seeking; from a start-up’s first steps into retail – like those working with Pop Up Britain – or an online retailer taking seasonal space, and even fully fledged independents and brands. A new generation of retailers is thinking not only about what they can provide to augment our lives, but also what kind of self-contained experience might captivate us most meaningfully. This indicates an exciting move away from old advertising models that told us what we wanted, and instead is built around what we actually do and care about.

Deloit predicts that over the long-term we will see a significant downsizing of store portfolios:
“This will vary markedly depending on the retailer’s category but reductions by as much as 30-40% are foreseeable over the next 3-5 years.” However some retailers, notably Apple and Nike, have led the way by showing that brand only stores can deliver great customer experience and provide a physical corner-stone to their consumer engagement. As vacant retail space grows more and more flexible, it is only a matter of time before the capacity and liquidity problems in the market are resolved. We can imagine a platform where all retailers have the opportunity to create active digital communities around the physical in-store experience, however short-term or permanent their presence.

This is where We Are Pop Up can play a vital role – enabling great physical experiences, reducing transaction costs and making the process of having a shop as easy as paying for a product online using PayPal.

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Kellogg’s Ran A ‘Pay With A Tweet’ Campaign at a Soho, London shop in 2013

The CBRE (the world’s largest commercial real estate firm) observed that in the 1970’s, a retailer needed approximately 200 stores to access 50% of the UK’s population. Today it only needs 90 – sometimes less (assuming, of course, they are optimally located). Let us stretch the theatre analogy further to that of a traveling troupe – how many stores are required globally, over what locations and which time periods, to make sure a significant percentage of the world’s population enjoys your show?

I was recently asked to attended a meeting of the Small Business Statistics group at No. 10, hosted and chaired by Lord Young. The group was discussing the fragmentation of parts of the economy as an increasing amount of trade is transacted by e-commerce platforms like Ebay – and what challenges that this poses for measuring activity and productivity – in the first recession in living memory where unemployment has gone down! The conversations in the room were enthusiastic, and focused on new ways to transact and how to make the most of current market shifts.

Capturing mobile audiences represents an unparalleled opportunity for brick-and-mortar retailers. From start-ups to independents to brands – those that embrace mobile platforms in an intelligent and timely manner have the chance to create and sustain real competitive advantage.

Perhaps with the rise of the mobile audience are we about to see the rise of mobile retail itself.


Further Reading

The Changing Face of Retail – Deloit

M-shopping: Final nail or final hope for the High Street? – Sponge

Other parts of our Future Of Retail installments


This post kicks off a weekly series where each of We Are Pop Up’s team members will take a turn applying their expertise to the concept of pop-up. This week features Alastair Moore – COO and Co-Founder of We Are Pop Up. You can ask him questions on Twitter @latticecut.