MANUSCRIPTS & PUBLICATIONSEPHEMERAL RETAILING
Ephemeral stores have several features that appeal to consumers and brands; to the former, they present an innovative and exciting concept and to the latter, they are agile tools helping brands meet specific objectives.
More brands have been adopting these retail formats or integrating them in their communications or distribution strategies. Moreover, they have been developing exceptional formats, innovative themes and immersive environments to wow customers and build an intimate connection with them.
I have been researching the ephemeral retailing phenomenon in different markets, by looking closely at pop-up stores, with the aim of advancing knowledge about this topic.
Pop-up Stores in a Postmodern Consumption Era
Often described as the “hottest” retail phenomenon, ephemeral retail concerns the growth of pop-up stores as a new mode of retailing. These temporary stores “pop-up” without notice, quickly attract crowds, then disappear or morph into something else. Although they share similarities with traditional physical stores and online stores, ephemeral stores outshine existing retail formats as they have many unique and differentiating characteristics.
These stores are becoming more popular among distribution channels as they offer exclusive and surprising retail experiences. Many established brands have already integrated these new points of sale into their distribution channels, while other brands are adopting them to raise communication, awareness, sales or just for experimentation. This phenomenon is finding its place amongst retailers not only for its efficiency and effectiveness but also for its unique impact, providing a sense of novelty that makes it particularly attractive to postmodern consumers seeking hedonic experiences.
This concise text introduces all aspects of this growing phenomenon and contextualises it within existing channels of distribution. It explores brand atmospheric interventions that are designed to affect customer emotions, behaviours or experiences, as well as practices retailers adopt to build relationships with their customers. It will be of interest to scholars and advanced students in retail marketing and branding.
The Evolution, Application and Future of Ephemeral Stores
Ephemeral stores, also known as pop-up stores, have existed since the beginning of trade between consumers. They appeared in city centres, villages or other convenient places where they proposed an offering and then disappear as soon as its offering is wearied. This is a very similar experience to the current phenomenon; ephemeral stores appear unannounced and disappear without notice or can morph into something else. Brands adopt these stores because of the array of benefits they present and their characterizing features. Consumers, on the other hand, are not only positively reactive to ephemeral stores, they actively demand these novel, engaging, satisfying or beneficial stores more than ever as they provide them with constant change and surprise.
Focusing on ephemeral retailing, this book aims to provide a clear understanding of what it is, how it developed and why it gained importance in today’s busy retail scene. As many brands are adopting ephemeral stores into their distribution channels or using them as unique touchpoints, this book proposes a categorization of ephemeral retailing, explaining different ephemeral store vocations based on different brand strategies and objectives. With many professional opinions about ephemeral stores and a body of academic research developing, this book aims to combine all knowledge about the topic into one concise publication: it clarifies, consolidates and creates a clear understanding about the topic of ephemeral retailing that will inform future research and activity.
The book is written for academics, students and retail professionals with an interest in relevant fields such as retail marketing and management, brand management and distribution.