A pop-up shop is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a store that “pops up” for a short period of time before closing down. In this industry, we know how much consumers like limited time offers because it feels rewarding once they get items that can’t be found everywhere. That’s what has made pop-ups so popular. It gives people the chance to have an exclusive shopping experience.
A pop-up shop can be a cheap strategy for brands. It’s a great way for a brand to make sales without committing to a long retail space lease that would take more money to start up and continue running.
“The trend has become more prevalent in the last year or so,” said Karen Bellantoni, a vice chairwoman of RKF, a retail-focused national brokerage firm.
It’s being done by large luxury brands, like Nike and Prada, as well as specialty shops with a specific niche such as Diet Coke or movies about to premiere. Even Ebay and Amazon have dabbled in the concept in order to bring their online services to a solid building for a unique shopping option.
Pop-up shops can serve a few purposes. They can help you clear out old or excess merchandise while you gear up for a new line. It’s also a way to test out products and see how it works in the key markets and demographics before putting it out officially.
The biggest benefit is exposure. It’s cheap exposure that lets shoppers see your brand, know what you’re about and get excited about your future products.
Pop-up shops can, well, pop up anywhere but they thrive best in big cities like New York, Los Angeles and London, where the shopping scene is all about the “next big thing” and hidden treasures.
How do you start a pop-up shop, you may ask? It’s not much different than getting a regular storefront, except there’s much more freedom in choice. Some pop-ups take the form of tents in parks, vendor carts and booths, or even a store that is immersive and interactive based off of your brand concepts.
And believe it or not, there is so much retail space available for a limited amount of time, even by paying day-to-day.
Promotion is key to every brand, but especially with a pop-up store. If you’re only having the store for one month, you need to get the word out that it’s there and it’s not there to stay. Always emphasize the urgency, the exclusiveness and the one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Pop-up shops may have started out as a trend, but they aren’t going anywhere. Gain new customers with a limited time experience, and keep those customers long after your shop closes its doors.
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!
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