2019 Brick-and-Mortar Trends: The Future of Pop-Ups


2019 Brick-and-Mortar Trends: The Future of Pop-Ups. Hey, guys, it’s Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail. And this year, going into 2019, we’ve got to be on the lookout for how we’re integrating pop-up shops in a new way. It used to be that pop-up shops were something that we did when we saw empty storefronts. And, guys, in the last 3 years, it’s really taken over the majority of new experiential marketing budgets – from fashion startup businesses to the most-established independent fashion retailers in the business.

But what does this mean for 2019? Where is this going? Well, companies like Boston Seaport’s WS Development, as well as other real estate developers have been opening up more modular pop-up-friendly retail malls. They understand that ‘permanent’ independent fashion retailers aren’t the only ones who can bring in lucrative buzz and sales. The Current, which is going to be launching in 2019 in Boston, is an example of nine continuous pop-ups that are going to be rotating, selling different products from different kinds of companies, and it’s going to be evolving over time. We also have mall platforms like ROW in Downtown LA as well as PLATFORM in Culver City- both in California. They’re also great examples of having physically owned retail storefront spaces combined with pop-up shop models. They’re also attractive places for fashion startup owners to test public response to their new brands.

So, we know this trend is not going anywhere. Consumers are being driven to these malls, being driven to these storefronts for newness. They’re buying new products. They’re being exposed to other kinds of brands as well as different food and lifestyle options. It’s attractive to well-established and independent fashion retailers alike.

Now, what else is going on with pop-ups? We’re seeing larger department stores like Bloomingdale’s start to enact concepts that have rotating storefronts where they’re now doing much deeper collaborations with a lot of their brands in order to have things that are not just in-store but showing up on the frontlines in their windows. This is really awesome because these rotating options are being rolled out by Lord & Taylor, we’re seeing Saks, two things that are similar. And, guys, these kinds of pop-up shop and in-store shop-in-shop opportunities are amazing ways for brands to be able to collaborate and get more visibility in-store.

And lastly, we’re seeing a lot of pop-ups that are now happening not just in-store but also digitally. So, for example, Tiffany’s, in an effort to really launch and scale in their Chinese marketplace, they did a really great collaboration with Tmall. So Tmall is the higher-end, luxury website that a lot of Chinese consumers go to in order to get exposure to international and domestic brands as well as local luxury companies. What do they do here? Well, Tiffany’s launched a two-week digital pop-up shop where their brands were able to showcase other offerings for the new paper flower collection. Customers were able to purchase, have a really amazing digital VR/AR experience and that really transitioned into when that went live in the physical brick-and-mortar space. So now we have this concept of a digital pop-up shop.

Garnier also recently announced that they were going to be doing a digital trunk show and pop-up opportunity where they’re going to be featuring different brands, and showcasing trunk shows, and selling them exclusively on their websites for short periods of time. So, guys, this pop-up shop concept is not just taking over physical space, but it’s actually merging also into how we look at digital real estate. Very, very important and interesting.

So, enterprise businesses. What does this mean for you? Well, obviously you need to let your stake into what happens in terms of the physical storefront experience. It’s time to go modular, it’s time to look at reaching out to different key markets nationally and finding really great opportunities to really have a strong brand footprint. So you’ve got to think about physical space. It has to be a much larger part of a distribution strategy, not just a marketing strategy and a marketing spend.

Grow stage companies. You need to be thinking about doing digital events as well as doing in-store events – whether at modular independent fashion retailers or more unconventional spaces. Perhaps you have longer opportunities where you can do stuff online, so maybe a longer pop-up shop or a longer trunk show, and you start to look for smaller spaces where you can do physical experiential stuff. Very, very important. This needs to not just be something you think of as an afterthought, but it needs to be a big part of how you choose your direct-to-consumer strategy for 2019.

Fashion startup owners. This means we need to rethink your budgets. Now, most of the time, fashion startup brands are thinking, “Hey, I can just have a direct-to-consumer brand online. I don’t really need to think about experiential. I don’t think about that physical space,” but you are wrong. As a fashion startup brand and being in that direct-to-consumer space, the best and the brightest direct-to-consumer businesses are all focusing on experiential and they’re all focusing with that customer connection.

So, as you’re looking to plan your budget, you may need to look at reallocating the spend. You may need to look at your budget actually from a customer-centric perspective. What are you doing to really reach them? Where do they want to shop and when? Which pop-ups can present your market the best opportunity, and which may even be good testing grounds for future permanent spaces?

All right, guys, good luck with planning your experiential and your pop-up shop strategies. If you need help executing on a digital side, on the in-store side, or joining pop-up experiences hosted by key independent fashion retailers, please send us an email at hello@scalingretail.com. We love creating memorable and winning customer experiences. And honestly, guys, that is what 2019 is all about. Leave us comments below here on YouTube. Make sure that you follow us where we are. So we are on Instagram. We love sharing great tips and tricks obviously. Please do subscribe to our YouTube channel and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks! Bye.

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