Brands have been working on the development of experiential hubs that help them come closer to their target audience.

Coming closer to the target audience also means going to where the customer is.

Pop- up retailing is one of the strategies that aided in the representation of the brand in location, times and appearances that helped brands towards the achievement of their objectives: Surprising, exiting an engaging with their customers and

Defining of pop-up retail

Pop-up retailing is a newly acquired term. Trendwatching (2004) defined it as : ‘…initiatives have a tendency to pop up unannounced, quickly draw in the crowds, and then disappear or morph into something else, adding to retail the fresh feel, exclusivity and surprise…’.

The history of pop-up retail (under the fashion context)

Pop-up retailing was the result of the evolution of retailing into different stages and under different circumstances. Under the context historical pattern described by Selfridge (1923), empty spaces were occupied by merchants to meet and sell or exchange merchandise; town travelers, carriages and carts started to spread, then specialty stores grew to be then replaced by department stores. This relates back to the characteristics of mobility (represented by the town travelers) and entrepreneurship (represented by merchants) under the current influences of customer excitement, technology and novelty that represent Pop-up retailing.

Pop-up retailing, an introduction

The public grew to be traditional- media savvy; the engagement with guerrilla activities set a yardstick of entertainment and interaction. Customers are attracted by this type of communication since it offers novelty without making its target customers change their routine. Guerrilla marketing is a cheap and creative way to reach consumers. 

The idea of guerrilla marketing is not new: it is a resistance towards the traditional communications. Non- traditional communications engage the customers, leaving them with a positive experience, hoping that this will lead to positive word of mouth. And this is achieved through the use of the available media channels to disseminate the message in an unexpected way;. ‘Guerrilla’ characteristics were applied to brand strategies such as expansion and communications; Comme Des Garcons (a reference example that we always get back to) has been using Pop-up stores in major cities around the world providing its customers with an ‘alternative shopping experience’. Guerrilla retailing is a ‘fashion revolution’ that ‘spreads your words and leaves a mark’.

High-street brands such as Uniqlo and H&M have also been favoring Pop-up to announce the arrival of a new physical location at the high-street in a new geographical area or new country. The ways with which the pop-ups have been announced and communicated is a pure reflection of the understanding of the location culture and clientele.

Pop-up retailing is described as the ‘hottest’ concepts. It is very low cost, gives consumers a feel of newness, freshness and a sense of surprise and creates customer-centricity. The assortment is presented according the chosen pop-up location. The distribution channel has to appeal to the local climate, the culture and the market segment. In-store media is individualized; pricing is a key aspect of localization: by plotting the demand curve of a segment, promotion and price are developed to ‘maximize profit, clear inventory, or meet revenue targets.

This article was written by Ghalia Boustani and was based on references from the following authors:

 (Marciniak, 2009) (Schoonmaker, 2009)(Deneen, 2005) (Taylor, 2006) (Jamieson, 2006) (Farrell, 2007 and Schoonmaker, 2009) (Delaney, 2008) (#iamhuckster #retail #gboustani #marketing #popup #ephemeralretail )

Interested in pop-up retailing? Read Ephemeral Retailing. Pop-up stores in a postmodern consumption era, by Ghalia Boustani.