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What’s in a name… instant retail


This week I came across an article at – in English from the Xinhua News Agency of China (“the official state news agency of the People’s Republic of China”*). I don’t usually follow Chinese media, but a headline jumped out at me – “Economic Watch: Instant retail brings brick-and-mortar stores back into retail game” Ah ha – that “instant retail” term is very close to my heart…

The article discussed how ”brick-and-mortar stores are making a comeback across Chinese cities… as they have innovated with new products, services and business models to embrace the trend of instant retail”# – specifically in response to COVID-19 and how customers are “taking advantage of their physical location and use of the internet…”

“China’s e-commerce has advanced tremendously, with a highly-efficient delivery system that employs a large number of deliverymen capable of offering customers delivery within one hour or even 30 minutes, catering to the changing consumer demand that prefers buying when they need rather than in bulk… Experts believe that instant retail thrives partly because people move less to prevent and control the epidemic… instant retail not only made buying easy and convenient for customers but also boosted small-and-medium-sized businesses, gradually becoming a new driving force in China’s consumer market. The volume of instant retail is expected to surpass 1 trillion yuan (145.1 billion U.S. dollars) by 2025, according to research centre iResearch”# says “the page ‘Instant retail’ does not exist”… so I guess instant retail isn’t quite part of the global lexicon (yet)

But the reason I watch out for discussion of “instant retail” is that it’s also the trading name of our Melbourne-based pop up shop business ! That name was chosen because it speaks to the quick turnaround of pop up installations – nothing there one day then suddenly a thriving / exciting retailer appears (and disappears just as quickly !) The Chinese article doesn’t apply the same definition to instant retail – it discusses changes in online shopping preferences, rather than in-person purchases instore…

Melbourne’s own instant retail has been servicing the local needs of temporary installations since 2010… kinda quietly over the past couple of years, but now recovering as confidence gradually returns to bricks-and-mortar retailing (we wouldn’t mind a share of that 1 trillion yuan in 2025 !)

Back in 2014 I posted a blog article explaining the relationship between popUPshops, instant retail and the author (me, the pop up guy). I’ve re-posted and updated the discussion a few times over the years… most recently in January 2019 – instant retail is Melbourne’s preferred pop up supplier.

And BTW, it’s been happy birthday to us – a couple of months ago we celebrated a whole decade of blogging at ! Despite not much to say over the past couple of years we stuck with it (this “what’s in a name” is post #634)

Even after 10+ years I’d say it’s still relevant to consider the trend of pop up shopping… one of the first popUPshops articles mused what is this global phenomenon ? Since then the concept has grown, matured and morphed… and it isn’t finished yet !


* source : / search /

# source : /  instant retail brings brick-and-mortar stores back into retail game


image :  instant retail logo™


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