So, you’re thinking of having a pop-up store. This is especially great for young brands who work predominantly on the e-commerce side, or for brands seriously contemplating a bricks-and-mortar store, but conscious of doing a test run first to assess the demand for a walk-in retail experience. It’s also worthwhile for more established brands who want to fire up increased demand for products, particularly if they’re limited edition items that are available exclusively at the pop-up for its duration.
So, what do you need to consider to pull off a successful pop-up? We’ve done the hard work of finding out, so you don’t have to.
Storefront is a great resource for finding a space that matches your requirements, from dimensions to location to price. In New York City, this can vary dramatically – we came across spaces in lower Manhattan that ranged from $5,600 per month for 11,000 square feet – all the way to a 2,300 square foot spaced that ran at $42,000 a month.
There’s also the option of thinking outside the box. A revenue share agreement, for example, might be a deal you can strike with the space’s owners, resulting in a (much cheaper) win-win for both parties. Depending on your product and range, you might also opt to have a stall within an existing space, forgoing a standalone venue for something ultimately cheaper, while capitalizing on that brand’s clientele. Regardless of where you are, you should also remember to compare insurance options.
As most young brands are likely looking for a cost-efficient way to maximize brand awareness, this is typically the area of your budget that will require the most consideration. Speaking of which…
Come up with a realistic budget, and stick to it. Yes, it’s easier said than done. You’ll find that there are often far more things to consider than you’d initially thought of, so it’s good to brainstorm a checklist to start. Some of the factors to consider besides rent include:
Signage: Will you be using existing branding? Will your signage simply be signposting the actual venue, or will you also have wayfinding strategies in place to direct foot traffic?
Utilities: Speak to the leasing agent or the utility companies to determine an approximate amount that utilities will run per month (or the length of time you expect the popup to be active).
Visual merchandising: How do you plan to make your pop-up stand out? Maybe you’ll need mannequins, or maybe you’ll incorporate installation art. This will also include non-negotiables, such as lighting.
Furniture: Obviously, you’ll need counter space to complete transactions. You might also need changing facilities, couches, and certainly shelving and tables to display your wares.
POS: How will you actually process sales? While manual calculation is always an option, there are plenty of software alternatives that can easily be hooked up to an iPad such as Stripe or Shopify. It’s also vital to account for credit card fees.
Inventory: This will depend on the purpose of your pop-up. If it’s to gauge interest in your product, you’re probably better off erring on the side of caution and ordering less. Demand forecasting will also give you some insight into how your products move, and what you can expect to sell more of.
Marketing: This is where you get to have a little fun. Will you DIY design brochures and flyers, or hire a freelancer? For social media and email marketing, will you be utilizing paid strategies, or pushing for organic reach? Is hiring an events firm or coordinator in your budget? Press outreach is free, but requires adequate preparation to secure a mention. Maybe you’d like to do something more experiential: a launch party, perhaps, or an interactive competition. Perhaps you’d also like to seek out sponsorship to offset some of the costs. Whatever you choose, ensure it aligns with your target customer’s behavior, therefore allowing you to optimize your marketing spend.
All images courtesy of Yield Design, and their incredibly beautiful space!
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