What is a pop-up shop?

A pop-up shop is temporary retail space used by one or multiple brands (shop share) to test new concepts, formats and markets in an innovative and original way without heavy investment.

Pop-up shops, by their ephemeral nature, encourage purchases through the FOMO  (fear of missing out) effect. It is also now part of a strategy used by bigger brands to test a market or try new concepts. For pure play retailers it can directly connect them with their customers in order to engage or provide relevant research information and greater brand awareness.

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The short-term retail concept is changing the traditional ways we shop.
Pop-up shops have become increasingly common as brands and retailers look to create new ways to heighten the brick and mortar arm of their operations. With the current demand for new retail concepts the property market is becoming more flexible through the use of technology, which enables brands to connect to landlords much faster than ever before and enable them to try short-term rents which is something that only started to happen in the last decade and is starting to go mainstream.

We Are Pop Up has created an easy process for brands to find and test spaces and for landlords to find tenants. It is the world’s largest network of retailers, landlords and brands collaborating on creative retail experiences through one platform. Known as the airbnb of retail, it is a booking platform for short-term retail spaces. Brands can also collaborate with each other to create retail experiences through brand-to-brand messaging and ShopShare.

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Regardless of how successful a brand is online, nothing can replace the physical experience coupled with human interaction; pop-ups are here to stay and ultimately it will become a movement which will change the way retailers and property owners consider space, making it easier for businesses to utilise vacant spaces and create concepts never seen before.

 

 

Food: The Experiential Movement

We’ve all done it, posted an Instagram photo of that carbonara you’re about to dig into, spent hours waiting for a table at the hottest new restaurant in town, or just gotten lost in the vortex that is Pinterest looking for a new recipe to try. Food. We love to eat it, post about it, and we spend most of the day thinking about what our next meal will be. As of 2014, 50% of millennials consider themselves to be foodies. What is it about food that makes it more than just a means of survival?

As millennials, we are all about the experience. We don’t want just a basic transaction between a business and a customer, we want creativity and novelty and to feel like we have had a memorable moment in our lives with that experience. We are also looking for communal experiences. Having a connection to the people around us is important, we don’t care if it’s with strangers or friends. About 55% of millennials prefer communal tables as opposed to private seating. The food movement is really a communitarian movement says author of several foodie books, Michael Pollan. We want to be involved and present with everyone and everything when enjoying our meal.

About 80% of millennials want to know more about how their food is grown and will spend more on ethically sourced meats and farm-to-table experiences. It is for this reason that community is an integral part in the investment we have in every step of the process when it comes to our food. We want to know where it came from, if it’s processed, and even how happy the pig was that is now bacon on your plate. What’s better than when the waiter sets butter on table and lets you know it was locally sourced from a farm down the road, was churned in the restaurant and the cow’s name is Betsey? Or when the Chef who just created the beef tartare you’re munching on, comes by to introduce himself? A deep connection with the food is made when we know all of the information.

Pop-up restaurants and food trucks are a large source of experiential dining. Theme Night? Kale Craze? All possible to experiment with when you’re taking over an abandoned warehouse or “space 12” in a parking lot. It also breeds a feeling of exclusivity. Scored tickets for that secret supper club? Time to let Facebook and your friends know how much you’re enjoying your meal that they will never be able to get. Millennial diners have major FOMO (fear of missing out) and 72% have said when they see posts of friends dining out, they wish they could be there with them. Hashtag jealous?

Gone are the days of frozen meals and mystery meat. Here to stay, at least for now, is a communal experiential movement. To all those brave enough to host, good luck keeping us entertained.

Pop Ups are not just for Newcomers…ask Cadburys

For 2 days only Covent Garden became a bit more colourful – a hint of purple was spotted in Endell Street. For 48 hours only, Cadbury’s Joy Boutique opened to the public and exhibited an exquisite and very delicious selection of footwear – crafted from Cadbury’s chocolate.

Cadbury shoe

A purple window frame grabs the attention of the public, and Cadbury hostesses encourage passing people to come inside for a visit to the Cadbury Joy Boutique. Inside they find themselves in a store dressed in purple and gold, recreating the Cadbury colors in the store design, and an enchanting chocolate smell welcomes them. Beautiful designed chocolate shoes fill the wall and give customers enough reason to stay a while and admire the delightful artworks. Renowned food artist Prudence Staite has spent an incredible 860 hours hand-sculpting the chocolate footwear for the pop-up boutique.

Shoe store front Cadbury
While customers are in the shop, they are offered to take one of Cadbury’s chocolate bars – the lucky bar could win them something that gives them joy- in chocolate form. This gets people excited about the chance to win, but also allows potential customers to sample the product which can lead to increased sales.

Cadbury went one step further and created an additional chance for visitors to win. Tweeting a picture of the shoes or the shop with the hashtag #FreeTheJoy could win them a pair of shoes – and simultaneously gained Cadbury’s user-generated-content on Twitter and enhanced the marketing reach.

Myleene Klass
Myleene Klass

To ensure the maximum PR coverage about the shop, Cadbury shows to use a celebrity to open the shop and gain attention, especially crucial as the shop was just open for 48 hours. TV presenter Myleene Klass launched the Pop Up Boutique and just a few hours later the newspapers were filled with pictures of her in the shop.

Speaking at the event, Myleene said: “Show me one girl out there that doesn’t love chocolate or shoes so the combination of the two is little over a dream come true! That’s what makes the aptly named Cadbury Joy Boutique a winning combo.”

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The outcomes of the pop up boutique were more than satisfying for Cadburys. Thanks to the prime and easy accessible location in Covent Garden, customers could react quickly to the media and pop by the shop. The idea of combining chocolate and shoes drew not just women into the shop, but the novelty and maybe even the promise of a free chocolate bar saw even high attendance by men. Finally engaging the customers in the #FreeTheJoy social media campaign maximized the reach for the campaign and ensured maximum interest in Cadbury’s Joy Boutique.

Thanks to the We Are Pop Up the organisation beforehand was made easy – the shop front in Covent Garden turned out to be the perfect location for the Joy Boutique helping Cadbury to achieve its objectives. This is an excellent example of using a Pop Up Space to draw attention to your brand, generate online buzz and increase the brand awareness.

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

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…