Pop-up concessions focusing on treat purchases are becoming an increasingly familiar part of the in-store environment.
Topshop /Topman provides a great example, through its collaboration with Appear Here, the online pop-up space booking site. From September 2015, Topshop’s flagship Oxford Circus store hosted a variety of pop-up concessions, from larger companies (Spotify – it’s first physical store) to smaller businesses (premium luggage label Redland London, shaving product brand Stubble & Strife and chocolate brand Doisy & Dam, for example). And there have been others:
- January 2016 saw the opening of a Cadbury’s Creme Egg pop-up café in London’s Soho.
- In February 2016, clothing retailer GAP hosted a Lion Coffee + Records pop-up record and coffee shop at its flagship London store, open until April.
- February 2016 will also see Enterprise Inns and British Street Food launch an app designed to link up street food traders with Enterprise licensees for pub kitchen ‘takeovers’.
Pop-ups such as these offer theatre and interest to shoppers; a way for retailers’ bricks-and-mortar stores to compete more effectively with the high-octane theatre of the online shopping world. And partnering with start-ups in particular, can help to soften the edges of multinational corporations that act as pop-up hosts.
Perhaps most interesting of all, as Whole Foods Market prepares to open its first ‘365 by Whole Foods Market‘ stores in the US, it is seeking ‘Friends of 365’ – businesses to whom it will give in-store space, “to help enhance the 365 experience”. It is looking for a broad range of businesses, which it describes as ranging, “from food and drinks to fashion, body care products, services and more. (Record shop? Tattoo parlor? Maybe!)”
As UK grocery retailers grapple with excess floor space, particularly in large out-of-town stores, the pop-up concession seems an underutilised, low-risk way in which to maximise the value of that space.