In recent years the role of pop-ups operating in town centres has evolved, and continues to do so. We have been fortunate to launch pop-up concepts, working with brands and town centres where pop-up retail has moved on to bring success through brand awareness and increased footfall, enhancing customer experiences. This cost effective, risk free and relatively temporary aspect of being part of a pop-up shop allows start-ups and online retailers to test their ideas, gaining valuable customer feedback before investing too much time and money into their business.
What about building legacy for the pop-up project?
There are some exceptional examples of pop-up retail creating interesting destinations within town centres, and there has been a shift in evolving these concepts to a more stable presence within town centres. One such project is Made in Ashford a collaborative of 50 designer makers showcasing what local businesses have to offer under one interesting destination.
We have written about the evolution of this project from being part of PopUp Britain in 2014 in previous posts, and this is an example of a pop-up retail experiment into a more permanent platform for emerging businesses. The strategy for Made in Ashford was originally developed by Jo Wynn-Carter for Ashford Borough Council and showcased home grown designer makers some from the original PopUp Ashford project, allowing these independent businesses to co-share space. Many of the sellers were either start-ups or online and being part of this shop gave them the opportunity to test whether the high street was the right fit for their business.
“Pop up retail allows local businesses to combine their presence online with a physical store environment, and by connecting the two gives valuable insight into customer shopping habits and drives much needed footfall to town centres”
Pop up retail allows local businesses to combine their presence online with a physical store environment, and by connecting the two gives valuable insight into customer shopping habits and drives much needed footfall to town centres. In our experience this platform gives businesses a profile, and allows local leaders including local authorities and shopping centre landlords to support the current retail offer; giving these businesses support in a challenging retail environment. It is evident that where landlords allow pop up retail to experiment, the businesses involved grow and develop their own strategies and are more confident to operate within a town centre and bricks and mortar store, assisting the evolution of town centres.
A successful pop up shop will enhance a shopping destination, supporting the wider town centre experience, therefore in most cases empty shops are far more likely to be occupied following a pop up project that is well-executed.
In our next blog we will discuss how to create flexible spaces, experiential retail, learning, collaborating and building community hubs that are authentic and tailored for customers and collaborators.
If you would like to read more about pop-up retail simply follow our blog, or find out about our recent projects and portfolio.