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How pop ups are paving the way for business expansion

POSTED: 29th July 2015
IN: Guides
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In recent years, pop up shops have become an increasingly popular way for new businesses to test the waters before committing to a full launch.

How pop ups are paving the way for business expansionAccording to EE research, the pop up industry contributed an impressive £2.1billion to the UK economy in 2014 – and the trend looks set to continue.

As well as budding small businesses, these no-strings structures can offer great benefits to much larger enterprises too, helping them to test the waters for new products or services, expansion into a new locality, or simply promote brand awareness. Last year, for instance, consumer retailer Argos opened pop up gift shops in London train stations so that commuters could order and collect items on their daily commute in the run up to Christmas.

In this post, we take a look at how the humble pop up can be used to fuel business expansion for British enterprise. 

The emergence of the pop up

Pop ups are a relatively new phenomenon, and are the epitome of our high-speed, short-attention-span culture. They are essentially any kind of trade business that spring up in unexpected locations with guerrilla stores.

The pop up craze began in the early 00s, when ‘Vacant’ of Los Angeles, California decided to test whether consumers would queue up to purchase limited edition products from niche suppliers. The concept was welcomed with open arms and the pop up was born.

As Neil Mason, head of retail research at Mintel, concludes: “Pop ups are becoming more prevalent around seasonal events, and Christmas is the biggest,” which probably explains why established retailers are using pop ups around these times of year to boost their sales. Pop ups serve as a great test-bed for new products, concepts and markets, and are useful for generating a buzz around a brand.

The benefits of the pop up shop

As EE’s research showed, one of the most attractive benefits of setting up a pop up shop is the low cost and lack of long-term commitments. Pop up owners often pay landlords little or no rent outside of standard overheads costs such as electricity and construction of the interior of the shop.

Large department stores, such as Selfridges and Hobbs are dipping into the trend, launching new concessions by hosting pop up stores. The additional space, “allows us to increase the profile of the brand at an important time of year,” said Hobbs Chief Executive Officer Nicky Dulieu.

The pop up concept means that retailershave the flexibility of short term lets without the commitment and expense of longer term rental contracts.. Therefore, on the whole pop ups could offer a host of financial viability. Retailers are predicting the pop up store  to be an on-going trend, helping to driveadditional sales and increasing brand exposure, this new concept seems like  a win/win for business owners in the current competitive retail climate.

The recipe for pop up success

Short term commercial property leasing specialists, Popupspace Ltd, provide five helpful tips for pop up first timers to follow:

  1. Planning: Detailed planning should go into every aspect of your pop-up shop. Once your doors are open, you only have a limited amount of time to impress your target audience so make sure things like the design, layout and merchandise is spot on.
  2. Location: Carry out research into your demographic and make sure you’re located in the right towns and streets to reach them.
  3. Publicity: You’re only around for a finite amount of time, so generate a buzz to get as many potential customers through the door as possible. Consider local and/or national advertising and make use of social media
  4. Experience: Budget permitting, something special like interactive experiences are a good way to enhance visitors’ brand experience. Create a memorable space and offer exclusive promotions or special offers
  5. Follow-up: Maximise on your time there by implementing initiatives to capture data of potential customers and develop new business ideas by gathering feedback.

The recent emergence of pop ups shops allows retailers new and old to  showcase their brand presence in conjunction with other marketing activity, such as digital or other offline advertising. Brands and businesses of all different shapes and sizes can harness the power of the pop-up to drive business and new customers

About Aldermore Bank

Aldermore Bank is a specialist provider of finance solutions for UK businesses. With a selection of business savings accounts available, Aldermore can help SMEs to save the money they need to achieve their ambitions.

Image used courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

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