Successful brands have come to realize that building a billion-dollar brand is nearly impossible without physical retail presence. Brands who once thought joining the billion-dollar club was possible via an online-only business model are securing investment capital and opening retail stores at an impressive rate. But where does that leave younger brands who have lofty growth ambitions but may lack the capital or wherewithal to establish a meaningful retail presence? One solution for younger brands to consider is Pop-Up stores.
Pop-up stores require less capital and come without the risk of long-term retail lease commitments. They offer brands the opportunity to interact with customers and get valuable feedback, build brand awareness, capture incremental sales beyond their online sales initiatives, capitalize on seasonal sales opportunities, and test different formats and markets before possibly committing to a longer-term lease.
Pop-up stores are not cheap. Young brands need to not only consider the cost of renting short-term space but also the cost of the fixtures, shipping, set-up, tear down, and other incidental expenses. The numbers may not pencil out immediately, but the invaluable market exposure and the benefit of acquiring lifetime repeat customers will help to boost the return on investment of Pop-Up store investments.
Young brands should give careful consideration to the location and type of Pop-Up store. If your brand has strong awareness and social media presence as well as relative breadth within its product line, then having a stand-alone Pop-up store may make sense. An example would be Vuori, the hot clothing brand that is making an aggressive push into physical retail. Here is an example of a Pop-Up store we did for Vuori in a posh section of the Hamptons on Long Island in New York.
Alternatively, young brands can consider Pop-Up stores that are essentially a store-within-a-store. The advantage for brands that are less well known is simple: capitalize on the customer base and foot traffic of a more established retailer. It is important that brands select a retailer and store location that fits the demographic of their target customer. Many retailers are eager to work with young brands to establish a Pop-Up presence within their store. It not only provides an incremental source of revenue, but it helps keep things fresh and interesting for their shoppers.
Let’s take a look at a Pop-Up store we built for Rails in multiple Nordstroms stores. Rails is a contemporary global lifestyle clothing brand with a target customer that fits well with Nordstroms’ clientele. The signature feature of the Pop-up store was a large wooden apparel cabana.
The cabana created a strong presence and impact and did its job to capture shopper attention.
We built numerous stand-alone clothing racks around the cabana, each of which was constructed of metal and wood and offered significant carrying capacity.
The stand-alone clothing racks also helped to demarcate the Pop-up store area.
We built wood dividers to create a visual barrier between two back-to-back clothing racks which you can see in the pictures above and below. The 2-tier platform table set served as a merchandising space for folded apparel and also accommodated the 3D Rails logo.
The Rails Pop-up store was one of many Pop-Up stores we have built to help brands get an important foothold in the world of physical retail. For more information on Pop-Up stores, be sure to visit Pop-Up stores on the custom section of our website (www.richltd.com).
Jim Hollen is the owner and President of RICH LTD. (www.richltd.com), a 35+ year-old California-based point-of-purchase display, retail store fixture, and merchandising solutions firm which has been named among the Top 50 U.S. POP display companies for 9 consecutive years. A former management consultant with McKinsey & Co. and graduate of Stanford Business School, Jim has served more than 3000 brands and retailers over more than 20 years and has authored nearly 500 blogs and e-Books on a wide range of topics related to POP displays, store fixtures, and retail merchandising.
Jim has been to China more than 50 times and has worked directly with more than 30 factories in Asia across a broad range of material categories, including metal, wood, acrylic, injection molded and vacuum formed plastic, corrugated, glass, LED lighting, digital media player, and more. He also oversees RICH LTD.’s domestic manufacturing operation and has experience manufacturing, sourcing, and importing from numerous Asian countries as well as Vietnam and Mexico.
His experience working with brands and retailers spans more than 25 industries such as food and beverage, apparel, consumer electronics, cosmetics/beauty, sporting goods, automotive, pet, gifts and souvenirs, toys, wine and spirits, home improvement, jewelry, eyewear, footwear, consumer products, mass market retail, specialty retail, convenience stores, and numerous other product/retailer categories.