Pop up Retail is a trend that’s going to be tough for traditional retailers to stop. In fact, it looks like major brands are eager to jump into temporary, go anywhere retail shops themselves.
Experts suggest the retail sector is going to undergo massive changes in the coming years, and retail will look different. The word hybrid seems to be used a lot these days.
The key to success in retail is giving customers what they want when they need it at the lowest price possible. Therefore anything that obstructs fulfillment, choice, and lower cost is a threat to a business. Businesses are under plenty of pressure. Pop up retail is a perfect opportunity to extend retail presence and to break into markets (retail locations) that are currently inaccessible.
And increasingly, we see retail businesses struggling in malls and plazas. Plazas were thought to be the ultimate trendy solution that would take retail where it needs to go. Well, retail of any kind has had its troubles so parking and location aren’t a guarantee of ongoing success.
It’s All About What the Shoppers Want
And what do they want?
- Favourite brands
- Quality products
- Sales events
- Lots of choices (size, style, color, etc)
- Low prices
- Good service
The problem with the big chains as I see it, is shrinking product selection and poor customer service. They’re under cost pressures to eliminate national brands and bring in more of their own house brands. And with just in time logistics, they’re prone to stockouts too.
What all retail establishments face is the loss of most of their revenue through leases and store operations. What if a new type of retailing rushed in, minimized operational costs, and gave shoppers all the variety and selection they wanted? This new approach might use timing, logistics, and event planning, and even blitz marketing effectively.
The fact some stores have stay open such long hours to accrue revenue over extended periods, maximizes their costs. And they can’t get out of that. Just in time, pop up retailers can strike fast and potentially give shoppers more of what they want.
The Xmas Rush
Last Xmas, I shopped in the local mall and wasn’t too inspired until I came along a shop that had rented a vacant store space. They sold unique gifts, food, desserts and other items you couldn’t find anywhere else. I bought a selection of stuff and I was happy.
I continued on through the mall to buy some shoes and couldn’t find any I liked, particularly in my size or style. The sameness of the products in the stores and the limited selection is what disappointed me most. My money remained in my wallet.
Enter Pop Up Retail
Here’s a term that hasn’t been around very long, but there’s no doubt you’ve seen a pop up retail shop at the mall, or downtown in a formerly vacant unit, They’re basically instant stores set up for a specific purpose targeting a certain group of shoppers.
The key to operating a temporary pop up retail store is an accessible location, sufficient parking or foot traffic, and sufficient product.
What I think can make pop-up retail successful, is product depth, name brands, and the ability to order desired sizes, styles, colours etc., within a day or two. This is a great opportunity to introduce new brands. So those entrepreneurial start-ups might see this as a great way to get exposure for their new products.
Because pop up events are temporary and timed, it’s vital that the managers be able to communicate with consumers in a timely manner. That’s where the mobile and social media connection comes in. Consumers don’t mind being contacted and reminded about an event where they’ll save money and get the products they want. It’s an adventure.
The fact such events can be spontaneous, incorporate sales promotions delivered through social media, and run cost effectively means pop up retail can work.
Take a look: