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Where do we pop up (and why) ?


It seems we’ll pop up anywhere and everywhere !

I’m often asked… where are the best locations to pop-up around Melbourne ? (and Adelaide / Brisbane / Perth / Sydney…) Well, the answer is sort of simple, but also sort of complex… The best location to pop up (in any city) is where you’d get hope to the best results for you – and that will depend on your objectives, products and effort…

Most retail pop ups are looking for cash sales… the opportunity to move stock swiftly and effortlessly – that’s why the established shopping centres (casual leasing sites) have always been good “pop up” locations. At this time of year (leading up to the hectic Christmas sales season), the larger ‘centres and their busiest sites will be booked well in advance – some centres will charge a significant premium (multiples of the usual rate) for their casual spaces in the peak retail seasons. Generally, shopping centres will be easier to deal with – they have the resources (and experience) to smooth the way for pop ups (many independent agents and landlords seem to get bogged down in the details – and are often reluctant to commit, hoping they’ll get a better offer…)

If a shopping mall isn’t quite your thing, other options may be participating in a greater sales event (a weekend design market or collaborating with the others in a smaller space) – or setting up within a traditional shopping strip.

Other businesses have different reasons to pop up – sometimes it’s to promote a new product (or re-vamp the image of an old favourite), other times it’s just to be seen (to be cool…) – or perhaps it’s to test a location with the view to settling in… Each of those businesses should also consider what’s likely to be best for them (and their objectives) – there is no “one size fits all” for pop up….

Around our cities and suburbs the shopping centres are pretty well known – and for many brands it’s only the major ‘centres that will be worth “popping into”. But for smaller, less established businesses a local shopping centre or shopping strip may also present an opportunity – offering a steady flow of passing traffic (small location pop ups are often quite successful ‘cos the locals actually stop to notice there’s something new…)

Of course, most retail pop ups are looking for traffic – whether that’s a mass flow of feet (offered in the shopping centres and busiest street locations) – or less frequent but more targeted areas (eg. attracting a local and / or loyal customer). Some brands, even with a significant “high street” presence, will occasionally pop up in odd places and back alleys – they let their customers know an event is happening, knowing the fans will find them…

If your objective is to sell, or promote or just to test… you need to present yourself to customers in whatever space works best… But always also consider the broader definition of a “pop up” – generally it’s an event which appears suddenly (and disappears just as quick), offers a new opportunity for customers to experience your product (and meet the brand ambassadors) – and is often supported by social (and traditional) media promotion… And most of all, a pop up should offer something a bit extra or something unusual. The goal of a good pop up should be to leave an impression of some kind – if it’s unique or memorable in some way, that’s (usually !) a good thing.


Where do we pop up


image : Pop up Melbourne – instant retail Pinterest


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