Struggling Brands and Retailers Have Turned Things Around Using This One Simple Trick


Brands and retailers are on a constant hunt for ideas to keep their customers engaged. Online shopping is now an established option for consumers, causing some strain on the brick and mortar stores. Although retail stores are far from being obsolete, retailers are having to find more creative ways to encourage what is now being seen as a “traditional” way of shopping. As such, companies needing a boost in foot traffic and sales are reversing their fortunes (for the better) by seeking out-of-the-box options. Pop-up shops are just one of those options.

What is a pop-up shop?

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that sell merchandise of any kind, from apparel, to beauty products, to gourmet food. Pop-up shops are typically open anywhere from 1 day to up to 3 months. Brands looking to go this route should look to rent space in high foot traffic areas such as, city centers, malls, and busy streets. Because these are short-term rentals, the cost of opening and maintain a pop-up shop is much lower than that of a traditional store. This is a great option for brands looking to sell specifically during the holidays, launch new products, generate awareness, move inventory, or simply test an idea or possible future location.

Make no mistake, pop-up shops are not just useful for smaller brands – even big retail chains are utilizing this growing trend. Below are some companies who have jumped on the pop-up bandwagon after experiencing some hardships, and managed to completely turn things around:

Wet Seal, the teen apparel store, plans to open thirteen pop-up shops across the U.S. by early November – just in time for the holiday shopping season. Wet Seal has just shut down a third of their retail stores, so with the pop-up shop option, they are able to reduce rent on a retail spaces by about 80 percent.

American Apparel has opened pop-up outlets both in the U.S. and the U.K. Having just emerged from bankruptcy woes, while having significantly pared down its number of stores, the retailer still uses the pop-up model to move product and save on renting space, often offering items at no more than $10 USD.

Gap went back to their San Francisco roots for their pop-up shop earlier this year. Back in 1969, the now apparel giant started as a simple denim and record store. Today, while known as an international retailer, their struggle has been widely publicized. The brand teamed up with East London’s Lion Coffee + Records shop to bring a temporary vision of their 1969 stores to life. Shoppers were able to browse through records, enjoy a coffee and shop Gap’s offerings, all in one go.

Pop-ups for art, food, and more…

Back in the 1990s, high-end fashion design houses would host sample sales to offer their apparel and accessory samples to the general public. Now, taking the seed of that idea, local artists, farmers markets, antique housewares and emerging fashion designers are opening pop-up shops to showcase their products. Pop-up shops are “popping up” all over the world, offering a wide variety of products to new demographics of buyers.  Even traditionally online retailers, like eBay, have also pounced on this trend, and with great success.

Interested in a pop-up shop?

With the demand steadily growing for pop-up shops, many store owners are listing their spaces for rent, some as little as $50/day. As a brand or retailer, pop-up shops are a great option to connect with consumers, sell more products, build awareness and save money on renting a short-term space as opposed to leasing long-term store frontage.

Want to know more about the pop-up shop experience? Click below!