Will pop-ups rock Wet Seal’s holiday sales?
Wet Seal, the teen retailer, plans to open 13 pop-up locations to support holiday selling.
The stores, measuring 3,000 to 5,000 square feet, will open at General Growth Properties’ shopping centers in nine states from coast to coast starting Nov. 3. Wet Seal has three purposes in mind for the pop-ups:
- Reconnecting with former Wet Seal fans: Wet Seal closed 338 of its roughly 500 stores before filing for bankruptcy in January 2015. The pop-ups will reach many areas where the company had former locations. Added Wet Seal CEO, Melanie Cox, “Customers have reached out to request the return of Wet Seal stores to their local areas, and we are pleased that we are able to meet that need.”
- Bringing some buzz to the teen channel: The bankruptcies of Aéropostale, American Apparel, Pacific Sunwear, Delia’s and Quiksilver underscore the challenges many teen stores have had drumming up excitement with teens. Teen retailers are struggling against competition from the fast-fashion chains such as Forever 21, Zara and H&M. Beyond lackluster fashion trends, another challenge is that teens are said to be less into buying “things” and more into tech gadgets and experiences, such as a trip to a weekend concert. Finally, with teens shopping online more vs. hanging out at the mall on weekends, foot traffic is waining.
- Holiday spillover: It’s unusual for an established retailer to open stand-alone pop-up locations and most do it solely for marketing reasons. Target for example uses pop-ups to help promote new collaborations. Earlier this month, the chain opened three in downtown Manhattan to celebrate the launch of its first store in Tribecca. In Wet Seal’s case, the openings are partly in response to a lack of presence at this time of year. Said Ms. Cox, “We see an opportunity for additional brick and mortar locations during the peak holiday season.”
- Wet Seal to Open 13 Pop-Up Stores for the Holiday Season – Wet Seal
- Teen retailers are caught in a ‘perfect bankruptcy storm’ – MarketWatch
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the biggest potential benefit from Wet Seal’s pop-ups? Should other retailers look to pop-ups to support greater demand during seasonal periods?