Pop in and Pop Up

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Pop in and Pop Up

Last year I wrote an article on the trend in Pop Up retailing. This is where a retailer sets up a business for a few weeks, trades and then closes down and moves to another location. Obviously, pop up retailing is very popular with sports and events, where the retailer has a large, captive audience for a set period of time. Pop Up retailing especially appeals to the Gen Y and Gen X age groups where it is �cool� to be in the know, knowing that the retail event will be over in a few weeks. Restaurants and coffee shops are a classic retail model where they can be �in� for a selected period of time and be out of fashion. With this in mind �The Reindeer� in London has hit on a real winning formula. �The Reindeer� is a restaurant, it opened with a plan to open for just 23 days (and nights) and served 11,000 meals (478 a day or 20 an hour) during its �event�. A Guerrilla Destination The jargon for such an event is a ‘guerrilla destination’, a place that cannot rely on traditional marketing, but must create a buzz in the community to ensure word of mouth marketing is successful. In fact �The Reindeer� was fully booked before it even opened its doors which indicate how powerful the guerrilla marketing campaign was, thanks to ‘You Tube’ and viral marketing campaigns. This marketing strategy alone meant that they had closed before many Baby Boomers knew they even existed. The owners, Pablo Flack and David Waddington, are not new to the restaurant industry; they own another London restaurant, �Bistroteque� which gave them a head start in this venture. The background of this team is fashion design, which explains why they could easily set up a Christmas grotto at �The Reindeer� using snow covered Christmas trees to create the theatre. What was more intriguing was the restaurant was not easy to find which made it more of an adventure for the guests. Two cut out reindeer were placed in a car park to indicate guests had arrived at the old brewery which was converted for the event. This example of Pop Up retailing was so successful that it has been written about in Time magazine and the inventors, Pablo and David, are now planning to build restaurants in shipping containers and use them at art fairs. Pop Up retailing can be implemented in any retail sector. A garden centre could create a pop up for the spring or a book shop in empty space in a shopping mall. The role for pop up retailing, in my view, will increase as city traffic increases. The consumer will want to buy more and more products locally and will want to �pop in� to their local �pop up�. The varied offer of different �pop ups� will provide variety for the shopping experience and will especially appeal to the younger generations. The trend really developed in the USA with companies such as �Song� in New York who opened their first pop up in November 2003. This shop was opened by an airline and lasted the planned nine weeks. Also in 2003 the US fashion store, �Target�, opened pop up clothes stores and even place one of them on the Hudson River as a floating store. In Brazil, �Oceanic�, a cosmetic retailer set up roving �pop up� shops in mini vans and sent their shops to universities, schools, trade shows, the beach and anywhere else they felt there would be a target crowd. Guerrilla marketing can take a number of different forms, Pop Up retailing is one of those models and one that keeps growing.