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.

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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.

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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.

Pop-up shops changing perception

Pop-up shops are often thought of as a trendy way for Indie brands to get their name out there on a tight budget, but that isn’t always the case. More and more we are seeing big name brands using pop-up shops to their advantage. While lesser known brands may use pop-ups to sell inventory and increase awareness, bigger brands are using them to provide customers with a unique experience, educate, and possibly change perception of their brand. Household names like eBay, Kate Spade, and Adidas are using pop-up shops to entice millennials with experiential shopping and some companies are using pop-ups to change customer perception of their brand.

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  1. Fruit of the Loom recently did an experiment with a faux pop-up shop to show how much consumer’s perceptions matter. The underwear retailer created a fake brand, “Früt”, and displayed the brand as an upscale lingerie company. Only at the checkout did the company reveal to customers that the underwear they were shopping for was the low-cost, packaged, Fruit of the Loom. The goal was to show consumers that it’s what’s inside the package that matters. Fruit of the Loom was able to show that regardless of the fact that their product comes in packs of five and can be found at discount retailers, the quality and look could be mistaken for an expensive, high quality department store brand.
  2. Chobani is another example of a brand that used a pop-up to change customer perception. They found that while Europeans consider yogurt an ingredient for any meal, Americans only use it for breakfast. In order to change that perception, Chobani opened a café as well as several pop-up shops, that featured sweet and savoury meal choices using yogurt to show that it can be an ingredient used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their website even has recipes presenting new ways to use yogurt in your meal plans. In changing the way Americans think about yogurt and its many uses, they not only change perception but increase sales within its current customer base. For the largest seller of Greek yogurt in the United States, it’s a clever way to increase sales.

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  3. European grocery chain, Lidl, was having trouble convincing customers that although they were a discount retail chain, their products were high quality. Consumers usually believe that you get what you pay for, high quality equals high prices, and their opinions were reinforced by the bare bones customer experience Lidl provided. To change this, the grocery retailer launched a pop-up restaurant, Dill (an anagram of Lidl) , in Stockholm for three weeks. Michelin star Chef Michael Wignall was in charge and ingredients only found from a Lidl store were used. The mantra, “good food doesn’t have to cost more”, manifested and became the theme for the pop-up. The restaurant was a hit and fully booked from day one. Consumers started to speak positively about the restaurant and the company, resulting in a change of perception of the goods Lidl sold.

    Because a pop-up shop can be used as an educational format, it is an ideal outlet for changing the way customers think about your company. Pop-ups use the five senses to engage customers and can change their opinion through unique experiences. A study found that 74% of consumers have a better opinion about a brand after an in-person event, such as a pop-up shop. When faced with a perception issue, try using the “show don’t tell” approach with a pop-up.

Five Reasons to go Pop-up

It’s a scary question for all brands just starting out, “What’s next?” You’ve had a successful run with online sales but it’s time to think about expanding and growing. Then the headaches come. “How much will rent be?” “Can I afford a place with a large footfall?” “What if I pick the wrong neighbourhood?” There are a million ways to go wrong and run your successful business into the ground. A pop-up shop is a great way to expand your business!

What are the benefits to doing a pop-up shop?

  1. Save rent money – Pop-ups allow you to rent out a space for a temporary period of time, saving you money by not being locked into a contract. With a cheaper rent, you’re able to spend your budget on creating a unique experience for your customers. Both brand and landlord can benefit from a pop-up store. Filling a location that isn’t making the landlord any money can be very helpful while they look for a more permanent resident.www.miva.com
  2. Test out different locations/New variety of customers – Not all neighbourhoods are created equally. Researching locations and neighbourhoods is always helpful but sometimes reality doesn’t reflect the google description. Your hipster brand most likely won’t fit in too well in the family oriented neighbourhood. Aren’t you glad you only rented the venue for the weekend! What better way to test the perfect location than to experience it first-hand? 
  3. Shop sharing – For those brands that don’t need a full space, shop sharing can be a great option. If you have a small amount of inventory, a few shelves or a corner of a store is more than enough space. Shop sharing can also expand your customer base by introducing your brand to people who are already shopping in your shop share location. You may also find the perfect brand pairing. Your wine tastings may be just what the customers in a specialty olive oil shop are missing. Pairing brands can help you find synergy with other companies and could lead to future projects together. Shop sharing is also great because you have built-in employees. Being present in the store every day isn’t always a feasible option, but through shop sharing there is someone ready to run the store.

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    The Dry Goods Store London, UK
  4. Meet customers in person – Emailing can only get you so far when it comes to getting to know your customers personally. There’s value for brand owners to have face to face interaction with customers and allowing those customers to interact with the products in a way they can’t experience online. In store shopping is all about the human experience. Ninety-four percent of total retail sales are still generated in brick-and-mortar stores and having a physical presence could help drive business to your online store. It’s a great way to market and advertise your online business in a simpler and less expensive way than online advertising.

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    TopShop pop-up from Covalent Marketing
  5. Create an urgency – What makes you click “order cart” faster than seeing the sale ends at midnight or the store is almost out of stock? A temporary shop creates that same urgency to purchase or attend. Nothing is more exclusive or sells tickets faster than having a supper club available for just one night. Customers are experiencing a once in a lifetime event and creating that fear of missing out is sure to bring crowds.

Wondering how to get started? We Are Pop Up provides the ability to book full locations, shop share locations, and enables brand-to-brand communication. Register your brand or location at www.wearepopup.com and get started on the pop-up of your dreams!

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.

We have a winner: all-natural skincare scoops TREAT first prize

What do you get when you combine fifty budding entrepreneurs, five diverse concepts, two days of hard selling, one happy little egg and a sack of concrete?

The TREAT Mother’s Day Pop Up – filled with ingenious gift ideas, dedication, frustrations and pleasant surprises – produced a much-deserved winner after a challenging but rewarding weekend.

Five Escape the City Startup Tribe teams were given the challenge of creating a retail concept around the theme of #shedeservesatreat, offering delightfully different gifts for the mums in our lives. Customisable chalkboard mugs, all-natural skincare products, handmade chocolates from the north, industrial-chic concrete planters and upcycled glass bottle vases all featured in the Covent Garden concept store for one weekend only. Every team brought a unique approach to the challenge including branding, visual merchandising, marketing strategy and selling technique – here are some of the key takeaways and highlights for each:

THE WINNER:
Mother Nature

Winner

From green tea and lavender foot soak to coffee anti-cellulite scrub, Mother Nature built their brand around all-natural, handmade skincare products that looked as good as they smelled. They combined simple packaging with a rustic, welcoming visual merchandising strategy to form a cohesive and beautifully-executed brand experience for the customer.

Speaking to team leader Fizzy before the challenge, she told We Are Pop Up that “I’ve never done anything like this or anything in retail before. I don’t think anyone has in the group so we’re going to have to really hustle over the weekend to figure it all out. I’m really hoping it’s going to work and we’re not going to leave with more body butter than you’d ever need in your life…”

As the store opened on day one, we caught up with Fizzy again: “I’m exhausted. We had quite a few delivery issues so nothing arrived until about 4:30pm yesterday – all of this was made between then and now. Everyone came over to my house and we were up until 3am making products but we’ve made a couple of real sales so far which is exciting. It’s fun and it’s a chance to see what happens when you put real products out there. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing some happy customers, selling it all, making a profit and celebrating! But even if not it’s still been a nice way to work with other people and see what we can do.”

That said, Mother Nature managed to finish as the winning team, having sold an impressive 177 items, taking £991.04 worth of sales and gaining a total social media following of 612. Congratulations also came from across the teams: “The products looked gorgeous, the sellers fit the brand and the stall was open and engaging making it easy to entice customers. All aspects of the business were consistent.” “Mother Nature skincare was my favourite (isn’t everyone saying the same thing?!) They just smashed it on all levels and seemed very cohesive as a team.” “The team members were great shopping consultants. And the product could keep up with conventional and commercially sold cosmetic products.”

The four fantastic remaining teams:

Good Egg Creations

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Good Egg Creations, a gift shop with all proceeds going to children’s charity Barnardo’s, encouraged people to buy something meaningful for their loved ones and feel “gooey inside”. Upcycled homeware, handmade candles, customised mugs and tote bags were some of the products available, with guest brand Cold & Blac offering samples of London’s first coffee liqueur. Their social media campaign was fun and interactive, posting photos and videos asking customers and people on the streets of Covent Garden, “Why is your mum a good egg?“. The team made solid sales of 87 items and managed a modest profit above the seed investment they received.

Mum’s The Bird

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Team Mum’s The Bird tapped into the current homeware trend for mini succulents and cacti and backed up the products with simple but effective branding. A life-size polaroid frame also added a fun, innovative angle to their social media campaign. Having never made concrete planters before, the team told us that “they were far from perfect, but we sold through almost every single one and were even asked to do another pop up in East London, which two of us have already started working on.” Total sales at the end of the weekend surpassed the £200 seed investment with sales including 15 potted plants, and a social following of 513.

Make Her Day

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“On a mission to end generic Mother’s Day gifts,” Make Her Day produced a selection of handmade, customisable products so customers could add their own twist on the day. Chalkboard mugs and carafes, tote bags and even the paper cranes that decorated the stall proved a winner for the team. Clever use of origami also resulted in one of the most innovative logos of the challenge, with social media encouraging customers to write down how they would #MakeHerDay. The team sold a solid 93 items including 30 chalkboard mugsTheir social following totalled at 460, including the only email obtained by any team.

From London With Love

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From London With Love centred their brand on handmade, artisan goods from British entrepreneurs, including Good & Proper Tea, NIX & KIX cayenne chilli drinks and handmade Guppy’s Chocolates from York. Members of the team dedicated time to attracting passing trade despite the cold, creating their own signage and actively engaging the public with their chalkboard message campaign. Learning from their experience on day one, on Sunday the team completely rearranged their table to create a minimal, cohesive and ultimately more effective visual merchandising display. Total sales more than doubled their seed investment, with the highest volume of product sold including 46 packets of chocolate. 

 

Escape the City is on a mission to help talented professionals escape unfulfilling jobs and forge exciting, unconventional career paths. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’ve been inspired and would like to try your hand at your own pop up then browse and book spaces all online at wearepopup.com.

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The Weekly Round-Up

Treat her

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The TREAT Pop Up for Mother’s Day will showcase a collective of ideas and products from the Escape the City Startup Tribe, all wrapped up in a unique concept store in the heart of Covent Garden. Read more here and stay updated on Twitter with #shedeservesatreat.

Listen

The Wintergartan Marble Machine is a mind-blowing hand-made music box that powers a kick drum, bass, vibraphone and other instruments using a hand crank and 2,000 marbles. Marvel at the music with some good headphones. (WIRED)

Create

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Pantone has launched 112 new colours for graphic design, collaborating with designers including Sagmeister & Walsh partner Jessica Walsh, Pentagram partner Eddie Opara and book cover designer Chip Kidd. (It’s Nice That)

Watch

An exclusive look at the making of the mesmerising video for Black Lake with the combined genius of Björk, Andrew Thomas Huang and Autodesk. (The Creators Project)

Read

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The founder of movie streaming service MUBI, Efe Cakarel, on data-driven selection and the abundance of choice. (Freunde von Freunden)

 

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TREAT your Mama: the Mother’s Day Pop Up Challenge

50 entrepreneurs.
5 start-ups.
2 days.
1 winner.

This weekend 5th – 6th March will see the return of We Are Pop Up and Escape the City to 44 Shelton Street in Covent Garden. With a new Startup Tribe line-up, five teams have been set the challenge of creating a lifestyle brand to launch in TREAT, a concept store for Mother’s Day weekend located in the heart of one of London’s top shopping districts.

Escape the City is on a mission to help talented professionals escape unfulfilling jobs and forge exciting, unconventional career paths. As one element of the Startup Tribe’s ‘intensive introduction to entrepreneurship’, the Pop Up Challenge sets this group of innovators the task to get creative, bring their ideas to life and launch a start-up from scratch. TREAT will showcase a collective of their products for two days only, all wrapped up in a unique concept store dedicated to all the Mothers out there because, of course, #shedeservesatreat.

To add a dose of healthy competition, once again the challenge will result in a winning team: the one that not only makes the most profit, but also gains the biggest social media following and creates the most impressive overall branding. For that we welcome back in-house pop-up and visual merchandising expert, Daniel Peters of BBS Clothing.

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The clock is ticking until the doors open at 11am on Saturday and concepts so far include handcrafted skincare goodies inspired by Mother Nature herself, and a curated selection of customisable products designed to eliminate ‘generic gifts’. Our friends at Bloomon will also be joining the teams in-store to showcase their fresh flower delivery service and light up the space with their utterly original bouquets.

Keep an eye on Twitter with #shedeservesatreat for the latest updates and to see how the challenge unfolds. Head over to the TREAT Pop Up website for more.

 

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The Weekly Round-Up

Go

New invite

In 2014, artist and illustrator Jane Moore drew a sketch a day for the year. Inspired by this, poet Kirstin Maguire (sister of our very own COO Clara) interpreted ‘sketch’ in poetry and wrote a piece a day for 2015. The awesome book brings together a selection of their works – head down to We Are Facility on 25th February 6-9pm for an evening of readings.

Listen

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Pick a country, pick a decade between the 1900s and today and let yourself get carried away by the most beautiful musical library the world has to offer. Radiooooo started as an Indiegogo project and is now filled with tracks discovered by users from all over the world. Explore for yourself or check out this list from The Fader of their favourite finds.

Read

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This article from Creative Review – Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble on Granby Four Streets, empowering communities and transforming public spaces. “We’re interested in different ways you can engage with a city … for us, the best to do this is through direct action and experimentation.”

Draw

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Instead of life models, the subjects in Wild Life Drawing classes include chameleons, dogs, bats, donkeys, tortoises and micro pigs (sadly that last one has sold out). The drawing classes are open to all, from beginner to advanced, and aim to inspire appreciation and understanding of animals and conservation issues. Read Founder Jennie Webber’s interview with Grafik.

 

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Yelp and Not Another Salon Present: Not Another Hair Event

We Are Pop Up has teamed up with our friends at Yelp and Not Another Salon as part of Yelp’s events series for its super-users, the Yelp Elite, held at some of the hottest spots in London. Not Another Hair Event  on Thursday 18th February is the ultimate creative salon evening featuring food, drink, personalised hair colour, nail design and arts and crafts in a secret psychedelic 70s-style room. Featured brands will include Pirate’s Grog Rum, Bubbleology and Chipotle and although the event is full, we’ve got tickets for two lucky winners – all you have to do is retweet us here by 5pm Wednesday 17th and we’ll announce the results. Alternatively you can still put your name down on the waitlist in case a space opens up.

We Are Pop Up spoke to Community Director of Yelp in London Alex Shebar before the event to get the lowdown on what’s in store for lucky Yelp users.

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Hi Alex, tell us about Yelp and why you’re doing Not Another Hair Event. 

Yelp is a city guide that helps you live like a local, no matter if you’re new to the area or if you’ve been in your city your entire life. You can find amazing restaurants, bars, stores, even things like cinemas, theatre, sports, doctors, parks and more. It’s unlike any other site out there because it’s focused on the people who live, work and play in the city they live in. We’re running the Not Another Hair Event to show all these things off. It’s at Not Another Salon, which this amazing, bright, colourful salon in Brick Lane that’s worth checking out, and then filling the party with great local businesses like espresso martinis and bubble tea and burritos and wine and so much more. If you’ve never been to a Yelp event before, come! And if you don’t have the app yet, download it here now. It will make your day-to-day life so much more fun.

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Why did you choose to work with Not Another Salon and We Are Pop Up for this event? 

Not Another Salon is this amazing salon that really, truly, isn’t like any other salon, from both the decor to the staff. It’s one of these spots you really have to see to feel how cool and different they are, and we wanted to promote that. And then working with We Are Pop Up was a no-brainer. They have some of the best pop-ups happening in London and some really amazing local businesses. We wanted to show them off too, and absolutely have them at our party!

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What are you most looking forward to about the evening? What can we expect?

The whole event is going to be a good time, from the food, to the drinks, to the salon activities to just the people. If you’ve never been to a Yelp event before, you’ve never met a friendlier bunch of local Londoners. You’ll come, try new things, see a fantastic space, learn about local spots and meet new people. What’s not to love?

Check out the Yelp London events page for gigs, talks, tea, classes and more.

 

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The Weekly Round-Up

Relax

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This February 14th, relax, reconnect and free your Shakti energy – Secret Yoga Club presents Wild Woman Valentines Day at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.

Watch

VW and i-D follow DJ, producer and NTS radio presenter Nabihah Iqbal, aka Throwing Shade, as she explores the opportunities and burgeoning cultural scenes of Lisbon and Leipzig. Watch it online on i-D.

Spend

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A We Are Pop Up favourite, technicolour knitwear designer Katie Jones is one of Selfridges’ Bright New Things, a collection of emerging London labels making a difference with their work. Shop the exclusive collection in-store or online.

Cook

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This beautiful interactive recipe collection designed by Elespacio takes you around the world in 12 dishes – a feast for your eyes as well as your tastebuds.

Listen

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A new monthly vinyl mix series, ‘Home Listening’ is created by a group of friends who spend all their money on vinyl.

 

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