There was a time when launching a pop-up shop was a technique used by a handful of retailers to create novelty value for prospective customers. However, over the past couple of years we’ve seen a real spike in the popularity of temporary retail initiatives.

In the UK alone, pop-up shops contribute £2.3 billion to the economy each year – and that figure is on the rise. Pop-up store revenue grew by 12.3% last year- but with growth comes competition. Launching a successful pop-up venture today means standing out from the crowd and delivering a truly memorable customer experience.

 What are the benefits of launching a pop-up shop?

The tangible benefits for retailers:

  • Channel exploration – Many online retailers use pop-up shops as an opportunity to explore the physical space, either to generate greater online sales or to develop their go-to-market strategy for launching offline.
  • Increasing geographical footprint – Pop-up shops are the ideal format for testing potential new store sites, or for up scaling geographical coverage on a temporary basis. Many brands explore pop-up retail opportunities for peak trading periods.
  • Increasing consumer engagement – A greater physical presence means more opportunities to interact with current and prospective customers, to increase loyalty and introduce new shoppers to a brand.
  • Trialling new products and formats – Pop-up shops offer the opportunity to push the boundaries on the traditional customer experience. They provide a relatively low-risk retail showcase scenario for trialling new layouts, products and technologies, key lessons from which can then be applied across the wider business.
  • Event or Seasonal Opportunities – Working with the right supplier means these agile retail environments can be available with less lead-time than a permanent fixture, allowing brands to leverage the benefit of last minute sponsorship or location opportunities. Or something like a longer spell of good weather than expected for a Sunglasses brand.It’s a good way to alter people’s perceptions of a brand – for instance, Lidl launched a pop-up restaurant, Dill (an anagram of Lidl), in Stockholm, with chefs preparing dishes using ingredients available at Lidl stores.

 Which retailers are getting pop-up retail right?

Of course, retailers can only reap the benefits of a pop-up store if they get the concept right – and some will prove more successful than others. One of the benefits of the temporary store trend, though, is the wealth of inspiration retailers can draw from when designing their own pop-up shop.

For example, big brands may want to take lessons from Kanye West, who this year simultaneously launched a network of 21 pop-up stores across the globe to promote his latest range of Yeezy merchandise. Fans of the fashion label queued for hours at the Yeezy pop-up store in London’s Old Street, generating intense publicity and a social media buzz around his new collection.

Start-up brands may want to look to examples of emerging companies that have used pop-up stores to accelerate growth. Just recently, John Lewis held a small business event at its Oxford Street department store, setting up a rooftop showcase for UK sellers on the website Etsy over the August Bank Holiday weekend, for instance.

 How do I launch my own pop-up shop?

To help your business launch the perfect pop-up store, here’s our guide to getting started:

Step 1: Set out what you’re trying to achieve. Having clear objectives in mind is essential for driving ROI, and will focus your decisions throughout build, launch and management.

Step 2: Get the location right. Where you decide to launch a pop-up shop will have a huge impact on its success. There are lots of options to explore when it comes to choosing the right place and format, from shopping centres and empty retail units, to art galleries and former shipping containers. Look for the location and vibe that best reflects your target demographic.

Step 3: Put the product front and centre. With a pop-up shop, chances are that you will be working with a small store footprint. Therefore, making your products stand out is vitally important.

Work with a retail showcase hire company that can create displays with a dramatic impact even in a limited space. All too often a great location can be let down by poor product placement.

Step 4: Be creative! So long as you meet your marketing objectives, pop-up stores are a great way to have fun with your brand. Once you have sorted out product displays with your retail showcase hire team, have fun with the design and layout to ensure you leave a lasting impact on your customers.

If you’re planning a pop-up shop, Precision Displays is a market-leading retail showcase hire company, working with internationally renowned brands to deliver incomparable customer experience. Take a look at luxury watch shop-in-a-shop case study to find out more about the work we do.


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