The Rise of The Pop Up


Ecommerce is on the march and many main-street stores are struggling to make ends meet. But that doesn’t mean retail is coming to an end; far from it. Instead it’s changing and one of the most interesting ways in the rise of the pop-up retail space. These temporary stores are proving a big hit with the buying public and a great way to drive  revenue.

What are  pop-ups?

Pop-ups are growing massively. In the UK, a recent report suggested a third of all retail outlets could soon be pop-ups. Amazon, for example, has been planning a big roll out of pop-up stores which represents just one of the many new ways the giant is striving to reach retail consumers. Today the pop-up industry is doing approximately $10bn in sales according to Pop Up  Republic.

So what are  they?

As the name sounds, they are temporary retail spaces which literally pop-up in a certain space and stay for a limited period of time. It might be a few days, a few weeks or even a month or two. They began as an interesting tool for small traders to sell some goods, or for charities to run a short campaign. Local government also tried using them to fill in empty stores with ideas such as pop-up art galleries, libraries and much  more.

Now, though, they are becoming a serious strategy for retailers of all kinds. They may be a traditional bricks and mortar store running a mini pop up within their existing shop; they might be an internet retailer looking to have a physical presence or a company looking to run a time-limited promotion. For example, specialist pop-up shops around Christmas or Thanksgiving offer a chance to cater to a seasonal market without having to stay open all year  around.

Pop-up restaurants are also doing big business with caterers able to spend time in several different locations before moving  on.

Pop-up  leasing

Of course, the rise of this new kind of retail outlet means there needs to be a new approach from malls who are beginning to offer pop-up leasing services. Westfield Pop, for example, is one of a number of dedicated leasing services aimed at the pop up market. It provides pop ups the opportunity to access Westfield’s millions of shoppers in malls all around America, with a specific leasing policy tailored to their  needs.

This is going far beyond the basic ad hoc arrangements malls have had in place until now and becoming a crucial part of their own ongoing marketing strategy. No longer is it a case of filling in some extra real estate as and when it’s needed – instead there will be dedicated properties set aside specifically for  pop-ups.

This is, then, the next big revolution in retail. It’s transforming the way we shop and the relationship between shops and buyers. And better still, it’s a revolution which is still in its early  stages.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.