Pop-up retailing or flash retailing is a trend of opening short term sales spaces. A pop-up store space is a venue that is temporary — the space could be used for a sample one-day sale or a seasonal store specifically targeted to market holidays such as Halloween and Christmas. Pop-up stores are used for marketing and are a great way to build awareness of a brand or product.
There are many benefits of pop-up stores. Pop-up stores allow for interactive branding, product testing, market (location) testing, low-cost overhead (no long-term lease), low-risk investment, buzz generation through social media interaction, and most importantly, an experiential experience for past, current and potential customers.
Pop-up stores create an experience and space customers do not currently get online or at a permanent brick and mortar location. This new experience provided by pop-up stores is due to a different form of interaction with a brand or product. The difference can come from the location (coliseum, park, office building, etc.) and the ability to touch, feel and try on.
One well-known brand using experiential retail is Lululemon. Lululemon gives customers the ultimate experiential experience through both pop-up stores and brick and mortar locations including weekly in-store yoga classes, social clubs, their store ambassador program and their community events program. In 2013 Lululemon had a short-term store front lease in Greensboro. It was such a success they opened a full retail store in Greensboro at the Friendly Center. In addition, Ivivva Athletica by Lululemon had a two-day pop-up store in 2016 in Raleigh. Pop-up stores are a great way to test the waters to see if a full store can sustain itself. North Carolina currently has six permanent Lululemon locations.
Brands can do many other experiential things within a pop-up store. There are pop-up stores where a customer can taste food, try on clothes, test visual effects on a computer or video game, try out a new form of communication, customize items and much more.
Could any of your clients benefit from a pop-up store? Pop-up stores need to be considered a valuable marketing tool. They allow a new form of interaction with customers, help with a new retail model, provide a unique experience for customers and help gain customer loyalty. The pop-up store retail model will result in increased profitability for retailers, increased customer satisfaction and the evolution of a seamless and integrated ecosystem experience regardless of the channel.
Post by Andrea Epstein, 2018 RPRS Treasurer