Are pop up shops the solution?

Following on from my previous post, I’m reminded of a recent conversation with someone extolling the advantages of pop-up shops. Can’t say that I know anything about them. They are, it appears, going to be a key retail trend in 2013.

PopUp BritainWhat is a pop-up shop? It uses low-cost use retail sales spaces for a temporary period, for around six months. The concept has been developed by organisations, such as StartUp Britain, and PopUp Britain whose aim is to give new British brands a rare opportunity to get their products onto the British High Street.

PopUp Britain is supported by the Department of Communities and Local Government. In December DCLG ministers set up a pop-up store inside their Victoria-based office building, acting as a blueprint for high streets across the country to emulate through schemes such as Portas Pilots and Town Teams.

Emma Jones of PopUp Britain describes how a pop up shop can offer different retail possibilities than fashion retail, saying,

“[a pop up shop] offers its shared space to small businesses that operate online and want the chance to meet customers face-to-face, but couldn’t take on or indeed fill a shop on their own for any period of time.”

This is a fascinating idea. I’ll be looking to find out more about the concept – a visit to London looks necessary, and to see how local retail malls and the local council can be inspired to help get this going in Surrey Heath.

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