Are pop-ups ready to become a permanent fixture in retail?
The pop-up model has brought some retailers a lot of success in recent years, so much so that some retail experts see pop-ups as a standard component in the future of retail.
Jay Prag, economics professor at the Drucker School of Management, told KTLA that the mall/anchor store model is on its way out. He and others said that limited-run pop-ups were slated to become a more regular fixture of U.S. retailing as more retailers pick up on the model and its advantages.
Darin Duber-Smith, marketing professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, pointed to retailer benefits, like far fewer fixed costs and the freedom to focus on only being open for a few months, rather than changing things out seasonally in a conventional store.
Some have recommended pop-ups as a way for retailers in specific verticals to stand out.
For instance, in light of a recent report by market research firm Mintel about the beauty and personal care space, research analyst Georgia Stafford wrote in a blog that innovative, aesthetic-driven pop-ups could allow retailers to distinguish themselves in a crowded beauty space, Cosmetic Design Europe reported.
Pop-ups have also demonstrated particular pandemic-era advantages. Last April, when the pandemic was at a low ebb and brands were trying to get reluctant shoppers back into stores, some retailers saw the pop-up model as a way to capitalize on the celebratory mood (which was later shaken up by the emergence of new novel coronavirus variants). The retail real estate landscape had grown more amenable to pop-up retail, as landlords needed to fill empty space and were more open to short-term leases than before.
But pop-ups are not without their limitations and disadvantages, as The Motley Fool reports. It can take a lot of time for retailers to find the right place to launch a pop-up, and the amount of inventory that a retailer can make available on-site may be limited compared to a permanent location.
Pop-ups can also disappoint if, for instance, a customer gets used to visiting a particular store or restaurant only to discover that the location has closed suddenly because it was a pop-up on a short-term lease.
- Are pop-up stores the future of retail? – KTLA
- Pop-up power: Beauty brands can use ‘uniquely designed spaces’ to build hype and community, says Mintel – Cosmetic Design Europe
- Are pop-up shops the answer to getting reluctant shoppers back into stores? – RetailWire
- Location, Location, Location: Where to Put Your Retail Store – The Motley Fool
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think pop-ups are poised to become more popular over time? What particular advantages and disadvantages might they have in the current economic climate, and moving forward?