First coined by consultancy Trendwatching in 2003, Pop-up stores are fast becoming a potent marketing tool for a wide variety of brands. The combination of cash-flow challenged landlords, high commercial vacancy rates, and tight-wad consumers has led more organizations to look to temporary retail locations as a way to generate buzz and boost sales.
The use of temporary (often less than a month) retail locations has been growing over the past few years. Pop-up stores allow marketers to experiment with different strategies, from launching a new line product to jump-starting brand visibility by going outside of regular retail outlets to providing exclusive opportunities for sampling and collateral distribution. Over the past year, organizations as diverse at Hermes, La Perla, Gap, eBay and the NJ Division of Travel & Tourism have leveraged the use of pop-up stores to build awareness and excitement for their brands.
This fall, expect to see these stores popping up:
Gucci’s sneaker-only pop-up stores, named Gucci Icon-Temporary will be open for just a few weeks in New York City, London, Berlin, Hong Kong, Tokyo and at Miami Beach’s Art Basel event.
Jones Apparel is launching their new Rachel Rachel Roy line in conjunction with New York’s Fashion Week with a pop-up store in Soho. The store will feature a selection of sportswear, jewelry, handbags and footwear. The Rachel Rachel Roy collection will then be available exclusively at select Macy’s stores.
Toy giant Toys ‘R’ Us is planning to open 80-90 pop-up stores this upcoming holiday season, taking advantage of vast swathes of vacant space in malls around the country. Corporate management expects these locations to generate significant sales at a much lower cost than adding permanent locations as they battle general merchandise retailers like Target and Wal-Mart for market share.
So, will pop-ups store create enough buzz to get consumers to get off their couches, away from their computers and opening their wallets? We’ll check back in at the end of the season and see if sales have popped up!