They give consumers a quick and fun exposure to a brand. Great for online retailers, they work wonders for established brands, too. What’s not to like?
Such is the magnetic power of the pop-up, a temporary retail space with customer appeal as enduring as its physical presence is transient.
These short term activations, appearing for months, weeks, or even just a day or two, are a booming phenomenon in Australian shopping centres. Their operators range from major players such as Nestlé (owner of the Allen’s pop-up), Nike and Uniqlo (the Japanese fashion giant first tested the Australian market’s appetite with a Melbourne pop-up), to emerging local artisans. Offerings span the entire consumer spectrum, from food and drink to fashion and beauty to live performance and art.
Thanks to pop-ups, you can now buy a car at your local mall – and drive away in it. Queensland’s James Frizelle’s Automotive Group spotted the advantage of car pop-ups three years ago when it trialled several mall mini-dealerships, including an Audi pop-up in Brisbane’s Westfield Carindale.
Designed to appeal to female customers unenthused by traditional car yards, the mini dealerships boosted both visibility and sales.
For emerging retailers, pop-ups provide valuable testing grounds for new product, new audiences or retailing formats.
Alyce Tran, a founder of The Daily Edited monogrammed leather accessories, says a pop-up proved the crucial gateway from online to bricks and mortar.
She and co-founder Tania Liu opened a pop-up store in Westfield Sydney in August 2014, just months after launching their range. They dressed a vacant space with a fresh rose wall and flower carts from florist George Low, to provide a backdrop for live monogramming.
Says Tran: “We had a lot of customers asking where they could see our product in real life, and we thought the best way to show them was via a pop-up store. For a relatively unknown brand it was great to be in a premium high traffic site - we were between Nespresso and Zara.”