Pop-up retail stores

The IMC class  participates in an internal discussion forum where they can write about what they are learning in the program. They are encouraged to connect the dots between the courses they study or to reflect on what they are learning. The following guest post comes from that discussion forum.

This submission was written by Heather Hood, IMC 2014 candidate.

A trend that has steadily gained awareness in North America and has recently emerged in the city of Kitchener, is pop-up retail shops.

These shops raise awareness of a company, a product, or a brand and are a very effective method of creating interest and buzz about a company, product or brand.  The fact that these stores are only in existence for short periods creates excitement and drives sales.  The location and existence of some pop-up retail shops is secret and only if you are part of a group of people lucky enough to be ‘on the list’ do you get the announcement of them moments before they open.  For example, Vacant, is an exclusive retail concept store that opens for one month only in empty spaces in major cities like New York, London, Shanghai and Paris to showcase a range of products that are limited edition or hard to find and you must be ‘on the list’ to be notified when one opens.  Another example of a pop-up retail shop is Target opening a temporary store at Rockefeller Center in New York City.  Target is already a well-established brand, but the buzz surrounding their pop-up shop in NYC created media awareness and excitement and increased buyer behaviour.  A creative and unique example of a pop-up is Target’s floating store, which they launched in the early 2000s on the Hudson River for the Christmas season.

Feather Thy Nest opened a temporary pop-up shop for one month only in a vacant building at the corner of King St. and Victoria St. in Kitchener.  While this shop was not flashy, it did create awareness and media buzz around the short timeframe the shop would be in existence.

The exclusivity of these types of pop-up shops makes consumers aware and excited about the specific brands sold in them.  A benefit of the short timeframe that brands occupy a pop-up shop strongly increases the ability to locate in high-rent areas and buildings.  The unique design of these shops often causes media frenzies and in turn increases product and brand awareness.  Pop-ups are surprising and often can be seen as temporary performances to promote brand awareness.

We, as Integrated Marketing Communications students, should look to unique examples of brand promotion, marketing, and public relations, such as the pop-up retail shop, to increase our awareness and add to our toolkit that we have just started to fill.

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