When we last wrote about the growing Pop-Up Retail Shop trend in our 2015 Blog titled “the Allure of Pop-Up Shops,” it showed no signs of going away. At the time it was approximately a $10 Billion industry. It has now grown to be a $50 Billion industry just 2+ years later. “Pop-Ups” are right up there with “Voice” and “VR” as the buzz words for 2018 among savvy retail marketers.

The term “Pop-Up Shop” encompasses any type of brick-and-mortar installation or shop that is strictly temporary: here today, gone tomorrow. Pop-Ups come in all shapes, sizes, and locations. These can be in the format of a standalone location, a store-within-a store, a kiosk, and even a mobile vehicle such as a food truck or a roadshow. They are typically employed as a solution to extend a brand’s reach, enter new markets, and introduce new products and services on a local or regional level. Perhaps most importantly though, they offer that unique “shopping experience” that consumers expect in today’s retail landscape.

The allure of Pop-Ups for shoppers hasn’t changed much since 2015. However, the importance for brands to create an exciting and unique shopping experience has. Pop-Ups are a refreshing alternative to the typical, impersonal online or mall shopping experiences. Shopper’s buy into the sense of urgency and exclusive nature they provoke as well: “you can’t miss this” and ”limited time only”.

Pop-Up Shops may just be the answer to so many of the struggling malls anxious to fill vacant space across the US. Mall operators can offer brands flexibility with quick, short term leases, existing retailers can drive more destination traffic with fresh offerings through space rental and online only retailers can get into the physical retail space without getting locked into high rents. 2017 saw many new e-commerce players enter brick-and-mortar and pop-ups allow them to test the waters… affordably.

According to a recent Branding Magazine article, Pop-Up shopping experiences allow brands to create:

  • An alternative way to thrive in a rapidly-changing retail environment.
  • Interactive consumer/brand experiences with the goal of establishing new or cementing existing relationships.
  • Emotional connections with consumers built around experiences – whether in support of a product introduction, exclusive offers, one-on-one engagement, or community bonding.
  • Opportunities for engaging with new fans on a local level, along with the ability to re-engage with and energize their customer base.

It seems obvious why Pop-Up Shop concepts are a rapidly growing solution for marketers to execute a unique shopping experience, which is critical to resonating with consumers in 2018 and beyond.