We have been seeing temporary retail stores for centuries now. Farmers’ markets or food carts are classic examples of such temporary stores. However, the emergence of new-age pop-up shops can be traced back to the beginning of this millennium. Such stores emerged out of convenience with exciting opportunities for both the retailer and the customer. Property owners who needed to fill their empty sales spaces with new businesses also found temporary solutions in such pop-up shops. However, the new age pop shops are based on a promotional corporate retail model that began when Target offered Black Friday deals by renting a long boat on the Hudson River.
In case you are still wondering what a pop–up shop is, we have got you covered. In this article, we will try to learn more about these pop-up shops and how to start a pop-up shop.
What Is a Pop-Up Shop
By definition, a pop-up shop or a pop-up store is a sales space that operates for a temporary period. They usually sell products in an offline store for a specific time period which helps to create buzz among targeted consumers and influencers. Pop-up events are created by companies when they launch a new product.
Companies usually create creative pop-up shop ideas that celebrate their brand and products. It allows them to sell their products by taking advantage of foot traffic. From tech brands to music companies to food and beverage providers, nearly every major company experiments with various pop-up shop ideas. It is also an ideal solution for digital brands who wish to try a temporary retail space. Since it eliminates permanent stores’ financial risk and commitment, setting up a pop-up shop is low risk.
Due to all these factors, pop-up stores have become extremely popular in the United States. Major cities like Los Angeles and New York are often targeted for various pop-up events. While pop-up stores could be established anywhere, pop-up events in shopping malls and shopping centers have become a recent trend. Such malls offer significant foot traffic, better public transportation, and an opportunity to size up one’s direct competitors.
How To Start a Pop-Up Shop
Now that you know what a pop-up shop is, and its benefits let us understand how to start a pop-up shop.
Choosing Your Event Space
Your first step towards setting up a pop-up shop would be to find an ideal space. However, there are several factors that you need to consider before finalizing one. For example, your ideal space would depend on the event you want to organize. Any vacant storefront would do if you want to set up a general pop-up event. On the other hand, if you are looking to promote your new product and hope to have significant foot traffic, then shopping centers or malls would be ideal places.
You can also look into Pop-ins that let you capitalize on the existing success of any physical store. In comparison, any gallery or event space gives you an opportunity to transform a blank canvas into something creative and in sync with your brand. If you do not wish to limit yourself to just one location, then you can also rent any truck or bus and host a mobile traveling pop-up shop.
Deciding Your Pop-up Location
Once you have finalized your ideal event space, you can start hunting for locations. Again, you must be clear about the goals of your pop-up shop before choosing a location. For example, launching a swimwear collection, you must look for areas near the beach or tropical. You can also use your current sales data to figure out where your existing customers are.
You also need to consider nearby retailers or similar events. Find out if the retail stores in the vicinity are complementary or competitive to your products. Foot traffic is another crucial factor that you need to consider. If you set up a pop-up shop in a high-traffic area, you might lose out on most of your potential customers. Hence, you need to look for locations where plenty of people can walk by your store.
Figuring Out the Type of Pop-up Event
Your next step would be deciding the kind of pop-up event you wish to organize. If you are looking to spread the word about your store, you may arrange an exclusive, invite-only event with local journalists and bloggers. On the other hand, if you want to create a buzz among the local residents, you can also organize launch parties. Such events with music, food, and drinks can promote social sharing that can further your reach.
You can also opt for experiential events where you can attract visitors with an immersive experience that is exclusive to your products. Or you can also organize an influencer party where you ask the influencer to host and curate your event. This allows them to meet their fan base, which in turn becomes your customer base. Meanwhile, a sponsored event can provide you with even more coverage. If you partner with any local magazine that is related to your niche, they will cover even the before and after of your pop-up event.
Booking The Venue
Now that you have zeroed in on your ideal pop-up space, location, and type of event, it is time to book it. You can contact the realtors directly or look into online databases to book the property yourself. Some popular online platforms that you can investigate are –
However, you must take care of all the legal formalities and possess the necessary legal documents before securing the space.
The pandemic has resulted in people missing out on social experiences and craving connection. Brands with existing customer bases will continue to reap the benefits from the transactional element of conventional pop-up shops. However, emerging brands must create unique and immersive experiences to stand out from the crowd.
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