FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Pop-Up Shops a Hot Retail Trend

Ever notice those stores that appear in shopping strips overnight, then vanish only a month or two later? That's not due to bad business planning -- it's completely by design. Pop-up stores are the newest thing in retailing, allowing marketers to generate buzz for their products on the cheap.

Many of the most common pop-ups are for seasonal items, such as Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations, where keeping a store open year-round wouldn't make sense. However, other retailers are finding that temporary storefronts have their advantages. In some cases, retailers can generate enormous word-of-mouth interest by opening a storefront in a very high profile location (midtown Manhattan, for instance), and only staying open for a couple of weeks. Hence, sales are high while rent is kept in check.

Leading the movement is "urban apparel" retailer Vacant, which has opened highly successful pop-up stores in London, Miami and Chicago. Vacant caters to a trendy crowd by carrying limited edition, hard-to-find items. Vacant devotees exchange news of new store openings via newsletter and word of mouth.

Source: Business 2.0