“Temporary, limited-edition pop-ups are the future of shopping.” - US Vogue.
E-commerce has been the dominating change within the retail industry for the last number of years. However, US Vogue suggests that the new trend of pop-up retail is here to stay. In fact Pop-up Republic is valuing the industry at 50 billion US dollars as of 2016. Pop-up stores were originally designed to introduce new products and increase customer interaction, but they have evolved and since developed into a concept focused on creating ‘an experience’. Consumer shopping preference has moved away from the tradition of mass chain department stores, suggesting that consumers don’t just want to buy clothes anymore but instead desire “a memorable, exclusive, and photogenic experience”. Pop-ups are short-term and un-expected, creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity, usually selling products that would be otherwise unavailable. They extend a sense of ‘cool’ to brands and create an opportunity for the brand to generate loyalty with new and existing consumers.
‘Merch’ pop-ups took the fashion industry by storm in 2016; Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Frank Ocean, Drake, and Kylie Jenner all created limited-time-only shops which received press across the globe. Kanye went one step further and launched multiple stores around the world all on the same day for customers to get their hands on his Life of Pablo tour merchandise. Celebrities have seemingly been the ones to take this selling medium by storm, opening up the concept to a wider audience and creating a trend that doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Research shows that pop-ups have enjoyed success because they present the consumer with items and experiences you can’t get online. The ‘limitedness’ of the stores and ever changing location also provides the brand with the opportunity to reach out to new consumers who would regularly shop in that area but not necessarily with the brand.
But it’s not only the likes of Kylie Jenner, who shut down SoHo, New York with her latest pop-up this NYFW, that have embraced form of retail. Many large scale retails are opting for small scale selling techniques including Adidas, Uniqlo, and Kate Spade name but a few. Some are more surprising, like online retailer eBay, and all are working hard to creative innovative spaces to capture audiences fleeting attention spans. One reason attributed to their ongoing success is their relatively low costs in comparison to a permanent brick and mortar store, and this is why many new brands have opted to use this method to enter the market – testing the water and monitoring demand, with less repercussions.
Elite spoke with Darina Faizova, one of the founders of the Wonder Wander Shop, a brand she and her friends created in her home country of Russia, to find out why they thought pop-up retail was the right strategy for them.
“The Wonder Wander Shop project has been running successfully for in Russia for two years now. We began trading via pop up stores and this soon developed into a permanent showroom in Moscow. 2016 saw the launch of the Wonder Wander Shop in London, where we host pop –up stores twice a season.
The main source of inspiration for us is the desire to grow. Being a multi-brand store, we constantly seek emerging designers which is our unique selling point. Brand diversity is important to us and our clients. We source pieces from designers based in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and the United Arab Emirates.
Our clients aspire to be different. London Wonder Wander shop is a place where customers can shop for extraordinary pieces as an alternative to more well-known brands. Styling is another aspect of our business. We create 'perfect match' looks for our clients, so they do not have to more spend on finding the right bottom or top.
Launching the London Wonder Wander project in UK has had its challenges. Pop up retail relies heavily on word of mouth promotion. We also work on fitting at home basis, so naturally some customers find it more convenient and fun to a visit temporary physical location where they can see all items at once”.
Some benefits for us include being able to meet so many of our clients in person. It gave us the chance to find out more about the people who were following us across social media platforms and the opportunity to convert them into clients. Being approachable and interactive with our consumer base is fundamental to us and is a key factor to hosting a pop-up store. We try to host them twice a season.