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Pop up shops popping up all over town – but why?

This excerpt taken from a media release promoting the National Mainstreet Australia Conference – in Melbourne, 12th to 15th May.


“The pop up shops philosophy is ‘here today, gone tomorrow, be quick (and tell your friends)’. The instant word of mouth promotion that social media offers is helping to drive this global phenomenon,” says Scott Williams, a speaker at the National Mainstreet Australia Conference.

‘‘Pop up shops’ are temporary retail spaces that can run for a few days or up to a few months. They can ‘pop up’ at special events or high traffic locations. The most popular pop ups in Australia are fashion sales and they are run by a mixture of start up businesses testing the market, established labels creating a buzz and online traders who benefit from an occasional physical presence.

“The sense of urgency that these temporary spaces offer along with unexpected locations and fit-out, sometimes guest appearances and entertainment, all add to the excitement for the customer. A start up business might ‘pop up’ to test their business model, try a location before signing a long lease, or research their demographic and product mix before launching. An established business may be more strategic – aiming to build on customer awareness, do a promotion or undertake research into their locations and demographics. Pop ups are a relatively simple way to get in front of customers, and offer great opportunities for trial (and error),” he said.

As the founder of Scott has a wealth of knowledge about the growing popularity of pop up shops that he will share in his speech ‘A panacea in pop up shops’ at the National Mainstreet Australia Conference being held at Federation Square in Melbourne on May 12 to 15 2013. This year’s conference theme is new challenges, new opportunities, new values.

The biannual conference will be attended by business and trader associations; local government officers from key areas including economic development, community development, strategic planning, place making and tourism; and marketing coordinators and those who work in special rate programs.

Mainstreet Australia is a membership-based association that exists to support the economic, social and environmental benefits of main streets, town centres and community activity centres. The association identifies the important role that main streets play in the fabric of our communities and make our cities, towns and suburbs great places to live, work and play. Strong community relationships, local employment, small business opportunities, events and activities are just some of the benefits of a successful and vibrant main street precinct.

For further information about the conference please visit Mainstreet Conference 2013


3 comment to "Pop up shops popping up all over town – but why?"

  1. monika 10/11/2013

    great post, I really enjoyed it.


  2. monika 11/11/2013

    Hi Scott
    Thanks I really enjoyed this post and reading your blog all about pop ups, as I share the same interests.
    It’s interesting to know that the most popular pop ups are in fashion sales as you mentioned. I think this is a great way for up and coming designers to get their labels out there and to create a “buzz”. And also connect with the local communities for example you mentioned how Dockers captured the New York younger demographic market through “taking their message out on the road” in this article: It is inspiring to see that companies to small businesses have done well and have reached their goals through pop up stores. I have been following the lean start up strategy of where I believe a pop up store could be a minimum viable product to test a hypothesis. In short: trial and error your idea on the market “in front of customers” as you mentioned, before you go forth/full throttle. Other than selling products through pop up stores, do you think that people starting a service driven business should go down the pop up route?
    Many Thanks,
    Monika from


    • Scott 11/11/2013

      Hey Monika. Thanks for your comments – I’ve just read your blog etc – good luck with your Adopt Start concept ! Service-driven pop up is certainly a concept worth considering… applying the same philosophies of short-term retail / promotional events to reach out to consumers, raise awareness, test a concept or location before making any commitments. Also – there’s a business in Melbourne (“My Other Kitchen”) which supports budding catering enterprises – they see some potential in using pop up to launch, trial and gain experience as part of their client’s journey… Where are you based Monika ? Regards from Scott, popUPshopsMelbourne.


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