A successful trend in retailing is the pop-up shop, a short-term retail space where brands open small stores with the purpose of increasing sales and generating buzz. Pop-up shops serve as a gold mine when targeting teens, a demographic that is easily influenced by what the media deems trendy and popular. GameStop, for example, recently announced they will be launching pop-up stores around the country for the holidays, offering consumers previews of the top-selling and most popular electronics and video games.
These pop-up shops have the potential to set the bar for new products that are being launched and gauge whether or not they’ll be successful. Pop-ups often proliferate during the holiday season, competing amongst many other pop-up shops in the same way retailers are lined up in competition within a mall setting. With this being the new norm, it is advantageous for pop-ups to spontaneously appear in places where teens are already present, rather than only where expected. By doing so, they will capitalize on this demographic and grow profits.
A study conducted by the Magazine Publishers of America showed that clothing and entertainment are the two industries that teenagers spend the most money on. Therefore, concerts that generate a teen fan-base are an ideal space for pop-up marketers to claim. Typically, doors open for concerts anywhere from one to two hours before the opening performance, leaving ample time for the audience to roam around the venue. Other than scouring concession stands or purchasing oftentimes overpriced band apparel, there isn’t much to do. Since teens are already highly concentrated at these concerts, retailers have the luxury of having a niche market in a confined space right at their fingertips.
Take the popular United Kingdom boy-band group, One Direction. One Direction is currently on tour throughout North America, visiting almost all major cities and attracting an influx of tween and teenage fans. Since the majority of these fans are female, a One Direction concert is the ideal event for retailers like Justice, Wet Seal or American Eagle. These teen-centric retailers could set up pop-up stores without having to spend much on advertising as their demographic is already in attendance. The retailers can promote their latest trends and provide free samples while also offering online coupons as a tactic to drive consumers to the website. This helps to further increase sales for the retailer and potentially develop a life-long customer.
While retailers certainly reap the benefits of offering pop-up shops during the holiday season, other brands and companies have an opportunity to capitalize on. Contrary to popular belief, pop-up stores aren’t just for merchandise retailers. Kellogg launched a campaign that featured a pop-up store in London in September. It offered consumers a bag of Special-K Cracker Crisps in exchange for a tweet with the hashtag "tweetshop." This promotional campaign lived on social media and encouraged people on the street to engage with the brand and spread positive messages about their experience. This highly successful digital tactic bolstered Kellogg’s brand by increasing its visibility on social media. Teens love free samples, and a tactic as simple as this is well-received at a venue where people have plenty of time to sample products and engage with brands before their event begins.
Teenagers were once a demographic that marketers did not heavily advertise towards. However, brands have realized that loyalty starts at a young age and is often maintained into adulthood. Pop-up stores offer a distinct and memorable experience for the teenage shopper. Since consumers are so accustomed to seeing these types of venues during the holidays, retailers should consider setting up shop during non-traditional times and on premises that teens are already occupying as a tactic to promote new products and increase brand awareness.