Pop-Up Stores’ Rise in Popularity
The recession, other factors have contributed to this trend.
Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s the main defining characteristics of a pop-up store:
- Temporary location (days or months, rarely a year)
- Merchandise is very focused (either around a theme, particular line, designer, or retailer offering)
Over the last three years, we’ve seen the pop-up trend increasing in New York and other large cities, as manufacturers and retailers find ways to cope with sky-rocketing rents, and as landlords increasingly view pop-ups not only as a way to add rental income from vacant spaces, but also as a way to draw in traffic to new developments.
Seasonal merchandise: Pop-ups have proved an excellent way for retailers to sell seasonal merchandise (Halloween, Christmas). In 2009, Toys “R” Us launched over 30 Holiday Express locations over Christmas. Around Halloween, the number of Costume pop-ups opened by Ricky’s (in New York), or by Spirit Halloween/Spencer Gifts has been increasingly steadily. Overall, when we consider the Christmas Tree lots, the Fourth of July fireworks vendors, and the fruit stands on the sides of the road, seasonal pop-up locations are nothing new…
Manufacturers and brands introducing a new product: This is increasingly popular, as manufacturers look for out-of-the-box ways to introduce new product lines and create more awareness for their products, regardless of the industry. Some recent examples: Renault, Pop-Tart, Gap (see photo above), and more…
Retailers getting rid of surplus inventory: The Billion Dollar Babes sample sale is a good example. It is no longer just a sample sale, but a way for retailers and designers to sell surplus merchandise to a targeted market who loves bargains. And most recently, online retailers have started using pop-ups as a way to drum up sales.
Destination creation: In New York, many neighborhood business improvement groups have resorted to pop-ups as a way to increase traffic to a particular area of town, and to draw attention to a neighborhood. In Los Angeles, in 2010, a new loft development in Hollywood was considering the creation of a pop-up store in order to bring attention of the public to the newly-created spaces.
Temporary collections in permanent space: Another recent trend has been the reation of temporary spaces within permanent locations that will house designer collections or product lines for a limited time.
EM & Co recently launched its L.A. Designer Pop-up, housed in a portion of the boutique. The exclusively L.A.-designed collections change on a monthly basis.
Pop-ups will continue to become more and more common, regardless of the state of the economy or commercial rental rates. The increased mobility of consumers, quick rise of consumer trends, and general desire for instant gratification will continue to fuel the popularity of pop-up sales locations.