Wednesday 28 March 2012

Pop-up shops: the ultimate in suck-it-and-see research?

Pop-up retail originated with fashion designers seeking to showcase new clothing lines. However with consumer spending deteriorating and as suppliers seek to cut the costs of product launches, pop-ups have become an interesting alternative route-to-consumer.
Breakthrough research?
As you know if a supplier’s brainstorming session results in a ‘great idea’, it can take nine months to secure a space on shelf
For a retailer, a ‘great idea’ can be an early morning presentation by a NAM, and with proper co-ordination the product can be on a shelf by noon.  By 1700 on the same day, the retailer can be in a position to double the order or delist the product…!
An instant test-market opportunity for suppliers
An (obvious) exaggeration, but pop-up shops can operate within the same model and time-frame, and can represent a real market-test opportunity for pro-active suppliers.
For those NAMs that get out occasionally, the usage by well-known brands is obvious, with GAP even kicking off a 60's style tour using a school bus as a mobile pop up store in the US.
With empty shops in the high street providing instant accommodation, a recent article lists some useful pros and cons for landlords and retailers
Living with the time-frame 
For suppliers that can operate in limited time-frames, a typical pop-up store can operate for as little as two days up to a period of four to six weeks and during this period the supplier can test-market a new product or brand and thus get first-hand feedback from customers, with an added plus of lower marketing costs compared with TV.
Meanwhile we await the emergence of a pop-up NAM as real evidence of the fact that pop-up shops are becoming a permanent part of the retail landscape…

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