Abby Davids, Senior Associate, and Melina Cordero, Global Head of Retail Research discuss the evolution of pop-ups, their increased popularity as well as the benefits and challenges associated with short-term retail activations.
Pop-up stores have existed for a long time but their popularity is at an all-time high thanks in large part to social media and clicks to bricks retailing. While there are benefits and challenges both to the retailers operating pop-ups and to the landlords hosting them, it’s clear that the concept is here to stay.
What is a Pop-Up
The definition of a pop-up is rapidly expanding. Generally, pop-ups are defined as a short-term activation of a space, but the range is expanding. Today, pop-ups can be one event on one day, or they can be a longer collaboration, lasting six months or more.
Digital Natives Leveraging Pop-ups
More and more, online brands are experimenting with bricks and mortar stores by leveraging pop-ups. For retailers without an established store presence, pop-ups can be a great way to gather information on space and staffing needs, store format and services without making a firm commitment.
While brands might be making less of a financial commitment with a pop-up than signing a long-term lease, the events are still seen as an important brand execution and can’t be taken lightly. Staffing can also prove to be challenging. In today’s experience-driven culture, customer service is keenly important, and brands often find it difficult to hire and train employees for short-term pop up events.
The Landlord Perspective
The obvious benefit of a pop-up to a landlord is earning rent on a vacant space, however, that’s just one side. As social media helps spread the word of pop up events, the collaborations can bring in new customers and truly activate a space with a renewed sense of urgency.
Future of Pop-Ups
Pop-ups are here to stay, and in some cases, may become even more of a mainstay. Landlords are now building in space for rotating tenants, and some concepts are even experimenting with permanent pop-up concepts, especially in the food and beverage realm.
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