What is a pop-up shop?

9 Nov 2022

From experimental concepts to household names, pop-up shops are an increasingly popular tool for brands to connect with their customers and stand out from their competition. But what actually is a pop-up shop? And what are the benefits of launching one?

What is a pop-up shop?

What is a pop-up?

Put simply, a pop-up is a shop or store that exists for a limited period of time — purposefully short-term, and usually launched with a specific goal in mind. For example, a food and beverage brand might use a pop-up to test out its new menu on the high street; while a fashion house promoting a new collection might create a buzz by launching a pop-up in a shopping centre that’s renowned for its sartorial offerings.

But whilst pop-up shops might once have been closely associated with testing food concepts and showcasing fashion launches, their popularity has seen them expand across a huge variety of sectors and industries. And whether you want to test a new location, concept or product, it’s an amazing opportunity to get your brand seen and heard IRL.

Wondering whether a pop-up will work for you? Here are some of the industries and sectors we’ve helped to launch pop-ups in:

• Health and beauty
• Art and culture
• Fashion
• Food & beverage
• Publishing
• Floriculture
• Technology
• Furniture
• Stationery

At Appear Here we’re passionate about bringing ideas to life. In fact, you'd probably be surprised at how many ideas translate into innovative pop-up shops.

Whether the aim is to build brand awareness or showcase products to drive online sales, it’s a great way for retailers to create an immersive and engaging brand experience without the hefty price tag that long leases often entail.

It’s only natural to want to know the facts before you rent a shop. If you’re looking for retail space, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons so you can make the right decision for your business and goals.

What is a pop-up shop?

What are the pros?

Memorable brand experience

Immersing your customers in your brand’s world, and leaving them with a great impression, should be a top priority. Consumers of today are clued up and conscious — they expect more from their brands. Ensuring your pop-up space is a living, breathing iteration of your online presence is key.

This physical presence demonstrates that your brand not only exists in the real world and can be trusted, but it is one worth investing in. Especially if your brand aligns with their cultural standing. This leads us to another pro of pop-ups…

Physical presence = strong customer relationships

There’s a simplicity and familiarity to shopping in-store, one not easily replicated online. Forbes notes that the role of the physical store is once again going to be integral to creating positive customer experiences.

Renting a shop on a flexible contract can help retailers connect with customers and establish a real-world presence to complement their digital platforms. And with the rise of omnichannel retailing, it’s the perfect way to complement your online presence and create a seamless customer experience.

It’s also a great way to build rapports that inspire brand loyalty and trust.

IRL activations as marketing tools

Think of a storefront as an advert for a brand. Securing a space on a famous high street or shopping hub is a clever way to get your business in front of thousands. And that’s not the only way a physical store can boost your marketing efforts and drive brand awareness.

Gone are the days when physical stores were used solely for the basic trading of physical products. A pop-up store can be used for anything from showcasing an exciting new line or hosting an experiential collaboration, to celebrating a brand’s centenary or launching for the first time IRL. Pop-up shops present an endless opportunity for brands to get creative with their marketing mix.

What is a pop-up shop?

What are the cons?

One spot at a time

One possible drawback of a pop-up space is that you can only launch in one specific place at a time. While there may be other routes for a brand looking for rapid global expansion, focusing your efforts on just one space at a time can allow you to foster meaningful relationships and really develop brand awareness in a new area.

And, if the area doesn’t quite work for you, you can move on to the next neighbourhood quickly and easily with flexible leasing.

The perfect space

When the world is your oyster, it can be tricky to know where to start. Do you rent a store on an iconic high street or an engaged local neighbourhood? Do you pick a blank canvas or a characterful boutique? Reviewing the market of pop-up shops can feel overwhelming, but it need not be so daunting.

Finding the perfect pop-up shop is no easy feat. But luckily, the expert team at Appear Here are on hand to help. Get in touch with our concierge team for a no-obligation chat about your options or check out our destination guides or space collections to narrow down your perfect spot.

From creating your account and choosing the right location, to securing a space that meets your needs and completing your booking, our concierge team offers support and advice every step of the way.

Big upfront cost?

Lengthy legal processes and long-term high-risk commitments were once a hindrance for brands looking to rent retail space. Now, things are different. Through flexible leasing, independent businesses are able to book temporary retail space for just a few weeks – eliminating the time-consuming contracts and empowering them to open their very own store.

We’d know, we’ve helped over 250,000 brands do it.

Ready to find your perfect pop-up? Get started here.