So you have finally decided to take the leap into physical retail.
Congrats, you are about to embark on a stressful but most rewarding journey.
You have managed to come up with a great idea or product, found the right location and decided to roll the dice on your business.
Anyone that tells you it's going to be easy, probably hasn't been through opening a physical store for a small business. (Try finishing a set up at 3am at a shopping centre with no lights at the site)
Not to scare you away from doing it as I mentioned before if done right, this can be a very rewarding journey and hopefully it will grow your business even further.
Below are some tips and tricks that will take some of the stress away.
Most of all remember to engage with your customers and have fun. Physical retail is the only channel that allows you to have a conversation and get instant feedback about your products or services.
Pop up on demand provides brands with an affordable and sustainable solution for their pop up and retail needs.
We have helped hundreds of brands Pop up across Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong.
Why buy a store, when you can rent one.
Running a business in the 21st century is pretty amazing.I can run my business from my laptop and internet connection anywhere in the world.
Book my flights, Airbnb and transport from an app.
Start an online business with a couple of clicks.
I don't even need to buy a van for my business as goget allows me to hire one on demand.
So why is it that when you start a brick and mortar business, the process has never changed?
Let's see what the process looks like
All this would probably take you 1 - 6 months of planning and execution and cost between $50,000 - $250,000.
This is not including the ongoing cost of rent, staff, insurance, utilities etc
You are also lucky if the bank loans you the money without putting your assets on the line.
So before you even start trade you are already in debt of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When do you start making a profit and pay yourself?
It is no wonder 60% of all businesses fail within the first 3 years.
Now let's look at the e-commerce solution
This would take you a couple of days and a couple of hundred dollars to do.
If it doesn't work out, well you haven't lost that much compared to the brick and mortar option.
Now I am not saying that brick and mortar retail doesn't work as it has been around for ages and will still be around for years more to come as people will always prefer to touch and feel products.
What I am saying is that we need to provide bricks and mortar retailers with an even playing field.
Why should retailers who are extremely hard-working people and some work 70+ hours weeks be punished if they choose to operate their business with a brick and mortar store instead of an e-commerce store?
Why do they need to pay $100,000 for a brick and mortar vs $1000 for an online store?
During our market research at Pop up finds we found that the biggest cost to retailers was for their store furniture and fit-outs.
Which to me doesn't make sense as to why you would spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an asset class that significantly drops in value as soon as you open your doors.
Then if you choose to shut your store and can't sell your furniture and fit-outs then most of it will end up in the landfill. Which isn't very environmentally friendly!
This is where our Pop up on demand solution comes in.
We have packaged turnkey retail rental solutions that incorporate furniture, fit-outs and POS systems at a simple and affordable weekly rate starting from $100 a week which includes set up, pack up and metro delivery.
Once you are done we will repackage it for the next retailer to use.
Let's change the way retailers do business and de-risk the whole process.
“Our aim is to create a sharing circular economy and reduce landfill waste while helping the next generation of retailers succeed.”
We have all seen that amazing pop up that stays with you after it's finished, whether it be food, retail or an activation.
The thing that it all has in common is that it is there to create a unique feeling when you eat, buy or experience it.
But not all pop ups are created equal, this is especially true when you speak to the Marketing or Sales department.
As you see each department is driven by different metrics
The marketing team is driven by CONTENT
The sales team is driven by TRANSACTIONS
Take for example a typical shopping centre campaign where marketing invites social media influencers to promote or speak about a certain topic.
This may be great for the number of people that attend that may or may not shop in the centre.
But there really is not a solid metric you can gauge how successful it was.
Yes, you can see social media figures but again we don’t know if these people actually shopped at the centre.
More importantly, how did this event help the sales department (eg. Leasing managers)
Did this campaign drive more enquiries for casual leasing or vacant shops which would generate more revenue for the business?
Chances are it didn’t.
On the flip side, the leasing team doesn’t really do pop ups for the content either they are only interested in transactions or the revenue they generate.
We all know of the massage chair, cheap toys, kitchenware or charity pop up in the shopping centres that we all try to avoid when walking pass.
These pop ups are purely transactional and don’t provide any exciting content for the marketing team to use.
So here we have two different departments in the same business with two completely different views on what a pop up is.
Well, both sides are going to have to compromise a little and come together to develop mutually beneficial pop up and events that provide marketing content to promote while producing revenue or future leasing opportunities for the leasing team.
Easy right……. We hope so.
So the next time you see Santa in a shopping centre hopefully there is a Christmas market next to it with potential vendors for the leasing managers to generate future revenue opportunities from.
We have seen so many businesses spend thousands of dollars to do pop ups and activations and all they have to show for it are a handful of social media posts.
I am sure if you threw thousands of dollars into the streets with your logo on it, you would probably get a better social media return.
It doesn’t matter if you are in Customer Relations, Human Resources, Marketing, Leasing, Sales, Concierge or an owner of a business.
You need to think and create a pop up or experience that benefits the whole business and not just one part.
A true Win/Win for everyone.
Popping up in a shopping centre is never easy especially if this is your first time.
Since we have been doing pop ups across Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney over the last 5 years, I thought I might write a handy pop up guide.
With more and more retailers closing and the general retail economy slowing down.
This is actually a good time to do a pop up in a Shopping centre as you may be able to negotiate a more favourable rental fee or even a shorter-term pop up (week, 4 days, weekend trade) to allow you to test the centre first before committing to a longer term.
Remember there is no harm in asking.
This is very important as not every space in a centre is equal.
Most of the time leasing managers will give you 2nd tier sites first.
We have seen vendors do well in a good spot in a small shopping centre and we also have seen a vendor go bust at one of Australia’s largest shopping centre.
It is up to you to do your research beforehand to avoid these mistakes.
At Pop up finds we always go and visit the Shopping centre and sites to gauge the
Once you have figured out the right space for you then make a suggestion to the leasing manager that it is the most suitable space for your brand.
Furniture and Fit outs
It is very important to invest in your furniture and fit outs when attempting to do a Shopping centre pop up.
In fact, this is one of the main reason’s vendors get their application knocked back.
Think about it… If you were next to Sunglass Hut and they are paying hundreds of thousands in rent and you set up with your plastic table and chair. They probably wouldn’t be too impressed!
The leasing manage has a duty to look after their big tenants first.
You don’t have to spend a lot of your furniture, there are some great items from Kmart and Ikea that you could use or you could rent some furniture if you don’t want to purchase.
Most shopping centres will require you to set up before trade and start trading when the doors open.
We have seen time and time again vendors/brands not ready for trade in the morning due to late arrival from traffic or unpacking and setting up takes too long.
If you are there for only a short term, you want to maximise every minute you are there to make as much return on investment as possible.
Ask the leasing manager if you can set up the night before, we always do and sometimes let vendors come and leave their products in our lockable furniture so the next morning they have less things to worry about.
Remember in the morning staff are waiting around for their stores to open or grabbing their morning coffees so this could be a potential customer.
Shopping centres trade is very different to trading at a Market.
For Markets – Shoppers are usually coming to see the Market and the vendors so they have more time to spend.
For Shopping Centres – Shoppers are going there to do what they need to do (bank, post office, groceries etc) so you have a shorter time frame to attract their attention so everything must be on point with your pop up.
Ensure all excess products and cardboard boxes are hidden.
If you have an Online store, please remember to a have a mailing list that shoppers can sign up to.
You might want to offer customers or potential customers a free shipping code or 10% if they purchase from your online store on their next order.
This is a good way to track if customers in that area would purchase from your online store.
Some leasing managers are becoming more flexible and allowing more than one brand to pop up at a site.
If you know of a complimentary vendor/brand you could each take half the space and split the costs to make it even more affordable!
Hopefully with theses tips and tricks, you will be more confident in doing a pop up shop as it is a great way to test your products in a retail environment.
Popupfinds.com is a one stop shop for all things pop ups and can connect your business to last minute spaces from all the major property groups.
Do you have any extra tips or questions? Please post below.
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