Pop-Up Store Trend Help Retailers And Shopping Centers Connect With Young marketplace

By Neil Nisperos
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Calif.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Pop-Up” Shops, social media-friendly temporary storefronts are helping financially struggling mall operators fill empty space while riding a hot trend.

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Calif.

Popup shops at malls aren’t just for Halloween costumes in October, personalized ornament stores during the holidays or H&R Blocks at tax season anymore.

The same trend helping up-and-coming entrepreneurs get a foothold in the marketplace — albeit temporarily — at music festivals or fan conventions, or even inside other stores, are now hanging their “open” sign in malls alongside well-established brands. Some are open for a week, others as many as six months.

The social media-friendly temporary storefronts are helping financially struggling mall operators fill empty space while riding a hot trend.

“You can’t change a store overnight, but you sure can put in a different popup business fairly quickly and in different locations,” said regional business expert Jay Prag, professor of economics and finance at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate.

Masking the cold hard truth
And empty spaces there are. Britt Beemer estimates there are 33 percent more malls than the U.S. marketplace can support.

“What’s driving this, as every (mall owner) knows that if they have so much empty space, there’s a point where the consumer says they’re dead and they go away, and when that happens, I don’t see anybody recover from that,” said Beemer, chairman and founder of America’s Research Group, which studies consumer and retail trends.

With disposable income in shorter supply, consumers have moved from shopping trendy retail stores in the mall to value-oriented stores, such as Ross Dress for Less, Beemer said.

Popups, Beemer said, are a way to ensure the consumer doesn’t walk away thinking that a mall is struggling, or worse — dying.

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