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instant retail is (still) Melbourne’s unique pop up supplier


Many followers of this blog (and social media) will be aware of an association between popUPshops Melbourne and instant retail. But what is the connection and why does it work (and what does that mean for other Australian pop ups) ? I first discussed this back in 2014… I suggested the story could start with me – Scott Williams, aka The Pop Up Guy…

Around 8 years ago I was hearing more of this “phenomenon” called pop up shops…and the concept for a business started to develop. From my own background in interior design, exhibition and shop-fitting installations, I saw an opportunity to participate in this exciting new genre of retail…. it seemed a lot more people were talking about pop-up shops, but there were no specialists in the field (yet). And so, in early 2010 instant retail was launched, to provide products and support for the growing number of pop up installations around Melbourne.

As we say on the instant retail website, we are “Melbourne’s innovative supplier to pop up shops, providing shop fittings and services for many styles of temporary installations. We specialise in the hire of quality fixtures to suit pop up shops, product promotions and special events” So… instant retail is a pop-up provider, offering a range of sales counters, shelving systems, clothing racks and hangers, mannequins, display solutions and more (all available on short to medium-term hire, delivered and installed in any location). In addition to supplying the fittings we also assist with general logistics, produce / install graphics and coordinate with other suppliers, landlords and agencies.

Over the past 6+ years instant retail has worked on a huge variety of temporary events, with customers ranging from the smallest of start-up businesses through to major Australian corporations and institutions. We not only supply all kinds of retail pop ups around Melbourne (and Victorian regional centres) but also install displays and systems at the major trade shows, sporting and cultural events… and more.

Two years into the new business we were looking at ways to increase our exposure and reach more customers. instant retail was (and still is…) pretty unique with our mix of products and services – and we wanted to spread the word. Our PR agency and web developers helped us identify strategies for marketing the business – including social media of course – that’s when our Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook pages were launched. Also, the concept of a blog was discussed… and popUPshops Melbourne was conceived !

Since writing those first articles in mid 2012 (now up to around 500 posts and listings…), popUPshops Melbourne has been published as an on-line forum for sharing the news of pop up shops and other temporary installations – offering advice and commentary, links to locations and suppliers… also covering special events and product promotions, exhibitions, trade shows… plus anything else remarkable around the Melbourne retail, marketing, dining and hospitality scene.

In 2015 we took another step forward… launching a wider network of popUPshops sites for Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, under the new banner of popUPshops Australia. Many of our articles are published across all cities, while others (especially pop up events and locations…) are featured to their local audience. The new city-pages are attracting some healthy interest from interstate readers… but it is taking a little longer to grow those pages (we’re not “on the ground” in those cities, like we are in Melbourne)

The blog and social media pages provide a unique opportunity to share the details of pop up events and potential locations to a qualified and interested local audience… followers of popUPshops Australia have found us through on-line search, media mention or by reputation. Promotion and advertising options are offered via our Listings pages, Banner ads and Editorial content. We’re still the only pop up site in Australia posting 100% (well, almost 100% !) original content and commentary – providing current and relevant details on what is genuinely (and appropriately) “popping up”. We enjoy a high profile with brands and retailers, shopping centre and real estate professionals – and of course our daily association with instant retail ensures that we are well-informed and active in the local pop up communities. To date, almost 80,000 users have visited the combined web sites of instant retail and popUPshops Melbourne / Australia – I’d say that’s a pretty healthy following for a relatively-new, niche (and local) concept !

The nice thing about working in this industry day to day… talking to the pop-up operators and facilitators, installing projects, attending (or participating in) events, researching the concepts, locations and materials… ensures that both businesses – instant retail and popUPshops Australia – remain up-to-date on the trends and development of pop up.

I’d hope that customers of instant retail benefit from the comments and contacts found at popUPshops Australia – many have also had their event or location promoted via the blog and social media links. On the other hand, visitors to popUPshops Australia are introduced to various pop up businesses – venues, commercial agents, insurance… and of course instant retail as the Melbourne fit-out experts ! The relationship between instant retail and popUPshops Australia is indeed complementary – each business supports and services the other perfectly.

And just who is The Pop Up Guy ? Well that’s another story… a few years ago (not long after popUPshops Melbourne launched), I was invited to attend an industry forum within the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. As introductions were made around the group our convenor said “oh, you’re the pop up guy”. It seemed quite appropriate at the time… and the tag has sort of stuck with me ever since !



SW The Pop Up Guy

instant retail



images : Scott Williams, instant retail logo, popUPshops Australia icon


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