Thursday, 3 April 2014

Pop-up shops and lean retailing

Who needs pop-up shops? These temporary stores, which are just one part of the lean retailing movement, open in vacant storefronts or inside other stores or businesses, serve customers for a weekend or a month, and then are gone. Why use a pop-up shop?
  • To test new products or new markets or new locations
  • To showcase exclusive, seasonal or limited-edition products
  • To receive feedback from customers and observe shopping patterns
  • To increase awareness and exposure for a brand or product line
  • To make the most of a short-term marketing investment
Last month, Etsy (the online artsy/craftsy marketplace) opened a pop-up shop in the London West Elm, one of a series of global pop-up partnerships between Etsy and the retailer. Each of these pop-ups sells a small selection of products assembled specifically for that market and location. Etsy's artisans gain exposure with new audiences and West Elm's customers see fresh, handmade merchandise not available in other retail locations.

Retailers have to know the rules, but with a relatively high number of high-street vacancies these days, pop-ups make sense for many marketers.

To see a London pop-up shop for Kate Spade as it evolved, visit the Facebook page of specialist Neverstop. For more photos of pop-ups around the world, see the Pinterest board of POPAI and photos on London Pop-ups.