It’s a new year, and you know what that means. It’s time for the temporary holiday stores to become temporary tax preparation shops.
Yet, these banal seasonal changes are not the limits of what pop-up shops can achieve. Far from it, in fact.
Any retailer can open a pop-up shop. If you have a product to sell, there’s a pop-up concept that will suit your needs.
Why Open a Pop-Up Shop?
One reason: Pop-up shops work.
For individual owners and smaller businesses, pop-up shops deliver on the fear of missing out (FOMO). Not only do pop-ups allow sellers to showcase their flexibility and creativeness, they also give the buyers a story to tell. Pop-ups turn shopping into an event; something that had to be experienced to be understood (and, fortunately, they can purchase something in memory of the occasion).
For larger, more established retailers, it is also a way to provide large numbers of consumers with a feeling that they are experiencing a unique, limited-time only event. This phenomenon has been termed “massclusivity.” For most larger companies, pop-ups are not a profitmaking investment (at least, not initially). Instead, they are viewed as a great opportunity to gather invaluable data about consumers (and potential consumers) and their buying habits.
For example, Unilever once created a pop-up to promote its St. Ives line of beauty care products. The store featured a vending machine that dispensed product samples for free in exchange for email addresses, skin type and St. Ives purchase history.
Photo Credit: NBC.com
Where to Open a Pop-Up Shop
By their very nature, a pop-up can literally be located anywhere. Target once opened a floating holiday shop on the Hudson River. In the dead of winter, Kate Spade set up a large, igloo-shaped tent in New York City’s Bryant Park (and gave out free hot cocoa to help shoppers keep warm).
In fact, the interest generated by a pop-up is due to an equal mix of theme and location.
There are five general settings for pop-up shops, and fortunately, there are some low-cost solutions that you can use to add to your shop’s whimsy. One example is the AirClad mobile architectural structure. AirClad units are assembled with modular components and designed to be set up in different environments, including outside and on uneven surfaces, like sand. The contemporary design of these structures looks great and is so unique that eyes are drawn to these buildings. Another benefit: Every part of these structures has options for branding and event enhancements, like climate control options and custom flooring.
Let’s take a look at where – and how – to set up your pop-up shop.
As the above examples illustrate, these could literally be anywhere, such as a park, vacant lot, beach, under a bridge, etc. You are only limited by your imagination. The benefits of an open-air setting are that you are not beholden to any existing space to establish your brand.
However, you will need to find a structure to contain your pop-up. This is where AirClad can provide an alternative to tents and shipping containers, which are becoming played out.
Take the XPO; it’s a single-story structure that features front and back entrances comprised of clear Plexiglas panels and doors, so prospective shoppers can easily check out what’s happening inside. The XPO is available in two sizes of approximately 20- and 33-feet wide, and the depth can be extended in increments of 8 feet as far as you wish, simply by adding additional AirCells.
You can also make an even bigger impression with the double-sized XPODH. This 20-foot-tall structure is a great option if you desire an open feel or are showcasing large products and presentations. Like the XPO, the depth of the XPODH can be extended by simply attaching additional AirCells.
Establishing a pop-up inside an already existing store is the latest trend. This benefits the existing retailer by helping the owner offset rent and delivers a fun add-on value to their shoppers. You benefit from the store’s general foot traffic and existing clientele being exposed to your products. You may need to do some selling to convince the storeowner that there is mutual benefit in adding your shop. This relationship works best with complimentary brands where the target demographics overlap.
Once you are in the shop, however, you will need to find a way to stand out from the existing milieu. If you desire a smaller unit than the XPO, bring in the OiO and OiOXL. These structures can be set up in about 10 minutes and feature a lockable, sliding door for extra security overnight, while your wares are unattended. A fully branded OiO will ensure your pop-up gets noticed among the rest of the store.
Pedestrian Areas in Malls
Malls are taking a hit. In fact, if you’ve been to a mall lately, you’ve likely noticed that landlords are trying to utilize every inch of space by cramming kiosks along the walkways. Just walking down the aisle has become a blur of drones, those weasel-chasing-a-ball things and plush emoji toys.
To avoid looking like a typical mall tchotchke dealer, take advantage of the Yum Yum. This 8×8-foot pod is designed for selling food and merchandise. The hinge-up serving window is ideal for engaging with customers, and it also includes a lockable door to protect your goods.
Galleries will often rent out space for shows and events and are sometimes willing to showcase a pop-up shop if what you sell fits with the overall feel of the space. Galleries tend to work as showcases for higher-end products, like jewelry or fashion. Yet, some of the funkier galleries would be great platforms for more eclectic offerings.
An OiO or Yum Yum can be creatively branded to seamlessly fit within the vibe of your particular gallery. Imagine promoting your wares from within one of the hippest enclosures in town.
Vacant Retail Space
There once was a time when landlords were hesitant to loan space out on short-term leases. Now, however, it’s a bad look when retail space sits empty for too long; the property owner takes a financial hit, and it becomes an eyesore (and potential bad omen) for the surrounding community. If you are interested in going this route, you will need to do some legwork first. Savvy searchers can usually get a decent deal on a prime location.
A pop-up is a great way for a traditionally online-only store to interact and engage with their customers. It can give new business owners the opportunity to test out their concepts at a fraction of the price of establishing a full-time location. Smaller retailers can use pop ups to promote sales or special lines of merchandise. Large companies can utilize these one-off stores to make an event out of the everyday experience of shopping.
Regardless of the motivation, pop-up shops are delivering some of the most innovative experiences in retail. Become part of this conversation by creating an experience that customers will remember and want to share with their friends and relatives.
For some creative, breakthrough pop-up ideas and to learn more about which AirClad can become your perfect pop-up shop, reach out to The Trade Group at 800-343-2005.