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what is this global phenomenon?


Is there really anything new about “pop up shops” ? Sure, it’s a catchy phrase and every-so-often we hear that it’s a “global phenomenon” set to change the face of Traditional Retail by daring to challenge the relevance of bricks and mortar stores and those long-established high street brands…. But the world itself is changing at a galloping pace. As consumers we’re out there looking for new products, ways to buy and interact with our favourite labels. Oh, and now we also want to be entertained along the way….. Some say the pop up shop (or “pop up retail”, as it’s known in the US) is the answer, the latest trend. takes the kudos for coining the term “pop-up retail” in 2004 – “if new products can come and go, why can’t the stores that display them do the same…. ?” And they’ve been posting updates on the trend ever since.

I’m not the first to suggest the pop-up concept has been around for many years – essentially it is an evolution in “temporary retail”. Aren’t those “car-boot sales” (once a month in your local shopping centre car park…) and the good old Town Hall clothing sales (pre-season ski wear or “a shipment of Italian suits hot off the docks….”) just classic forms of temporary retail ? And the humble Lemonade Stand ? They’ve all been with us for generations and are still around of course – but not so on-trend as a Pop Up Sale.

The difference is in the packaging. The phenomenon of pop up shops (see, I said it too !) is that there’s probably an army of marketers and designers working to bring extra “zing” and energy to the event. They are out to make an announcement about their brand and their range. Creative installations, bizarre locations and some innovative promotions might say “look at us – we are here, we are desirable, but be quick ‘coz we’re not in this location for very long !” Isn’t that a great way of blowing some “wow” into what is essentially a Warehouse Sale or Product Launch ?

Don’t get me wrong. I love the whole “pop up” concept. And that’s what this blog is about – tracking and sharing the passion of this evolution in temporary retail.

And by gosh, that word “phenomenon”. It’s not easy to spell and it’s even harder to pronounce, especially with mouth full of good-old-fashioned lemonade pulp and pips !




featured image : Getty Images




One comment to "what is this global phenomenon?"

  1. Scott 10/09/2012

    This article – and four others also from May-June 2012 – just posted on our Facebook page (Pop Up Shops Melbourne)


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