Popup Retail – Worth a Try?
The term popup retail or popup shops literally means shops that are created for a short period of time – that is they “popup” and then disappear without a trace only to surface elsewhere. What however remains is the brand recall – take this scenario for instance – a major jewellery retailer has a sprawling store in a posh suburban destination. Sales are good, and expansion plans are in the offing. Obviously, setting up a full-fledged store in another location is going to cost a pretty packet. Add to that the anxiety of not knowing whether it would really be worth the jeweller’s while. This is a typical situation where a popup retail store is a big help. In the case of a popup store, the initial investment is very low as compared to a traditional bricks and mortar store – both from the real estate and the staffing point of view. Besides, the pure curiosity factor would help get footfalls which have the potential to develop into sales both at the popup shop and the main store. The store or brand gets the advantage of being able to showcase its best pieces to the consumers who drop by. If the popup retail shop is at a mall or a shopping center, then the advantage is that even consumers who may not have intended to buy jewellery may end up buying some, or at least getting a look and feel of the jewellery, which they otherwise would not have bothered to travel all the way to the regular store for. The same logic works at airports. Another benefit is that the store can very easily be removed from the current location and set up elsewhere – even in another city for that matter. And then there’s always the option of setting up a popup shop abroad too.
Here are some ideas for the retailer interested and innovative enough to try out a popup retail shop: 1. Ask yourself what sort of location would fit well. If you are a high end luxury jeweller, then a shopping mall which sees more of the high net worth individuals come in would be a good idea. If you intend to showcase some medium range jewellery, then the location should see more footfalls from people who are likelier to buy that kind of jewellery. 2. Create a buzz around the area where you are going to set up the store. Hoardings, newspapers leaflets et al are all relatively inexpensive means. Facebook, Twitter et al also serve the purpose of some economical advertising. 3. An innovative themed display will attract a lot of attention – for instance if the popup shop is put up around Mother’s Day or Akshaya Tritiya, then a decor around that theme would work very well. For the wedding season, a shop that looks like a wedding mandap is worth trying. 4. Shops that are themed around a particular style or piece of jewellery are also interesting for the consumers – for instance – only uncut diamond jewellery or only kundan jewellery or only bangles and bracelets, only ear rings, only chains and so on. 5. A concurrent contest that people can participate in at the popup shop is also a good idea – it helps people get interested in the products. 6. An event that is held around the same time also increases brand visibility – for instance a fashion show or a getting a celebrity to visit the shop and so on. 7. Launching a limited edition jewellery piece or a new collection at the same time as setting up even 2-3 well placed popup shops through the city will increase visibility substantially.
Some recent successful and innovative popup retail shops: 1. An excellent recent example would be the Louis Vuitton popup store at Cannes. The store would be present for the duration of the festival that’s attended by quite literally the who’s who of global celebdom – ensuring brisk sales and dekkos at the Louis Vuitton range of products. This particular store is also intended as paying homage to the cinema of the world. With plenty of affluent potential customers in attendance, this is one store that is going to attract a lot of attention. 2. Another instance is Tommy Hilfiger. The brand launched a beach popup retail shop in Manhattan. Interestingly, the store is styled like an actual beach cottage and all Tommy Hilfiger products from apparel, perfumes et al which are related to the beach theme are showcased there. 3. Exclusively.in, a fashion retail portal setup a popup shop in Manhattan, focussing on apparel and accessories brands from India – haute couture from hot shot Indian designers like Tarun Tahiliani, Manish Malhotra et al was on sale for 3 days only, with shoppers getting an option to place custom orders also. 4. Pandora jewellery opened a popup retail shop at Heathrow airport offering a wide range of the brand’s jewellery and also launched a new collection from the shop. Given today’s typical scenario of fast-changing brand loyalties and the increasing disposable incomes post the recession, there is no reason why the jeweller should not be trying out new methods of increasing sales. With the host of advantages that they offer, popup retail shops are a great option for the creative and innovative jeweller.