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Pop-Up Shops; Why You Should Open One

June 2015

Pop-up shops are becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst young, aspiring entrepreneurs. In fact, research by EE found nearly a third of British start-ups will begin trading as a pop-up business.

What exactly is a pop-up business?

Pop-up shops are a form of non-traditional retail, and typically only operate for a limited amount of time, selling goods and services from a temporary retail store or a stall. Owners typically sell products such as clothes, local produce, and food and drink to take advantage of a current or seasonal trend.

EE’s survey of more than 2,000 people reveals that 29% plan to start their own pop-up business. The model is seen as an ideal way to set up a business by 57% of respondents, while 39% said they were inspired by the success of the shops.

The most popular types of pop-up among survey respondents were:

Should you start a pop-up business?

Pop-up shops can be great for first time start-ups and existing businesses alike. If you’re new to business, setting up a stall is a great way to trial your service/product on the market. It is relatively inexpensive, and therefore carries a relatively low risk. The same can be said for existing businesses who want to tap into a new market, or simply test a new product. What it boils down to is this; pop-up shops are a fantastic test bed for business ideas.

For existing businesses, adopting the pop-up strategy is an effective way of boosting publicity and brand awareness. Many large companies have used the pop-up model to open ‘guerrilla’ operations in fashionable locations, as a ‘brand event’. This can be used to target existing customers, improve communication and loyalty, and create a buzz to attract new customers.

One thing’s for sure, pop-up businesses won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Last year’s report by EE and the Centre for Economic and Business Research, found that pop-up retailers made £2.1 billion in turnover in 2013/14. There were 9,400 pop-up shops across the UK employing around 23,400 workers.


As most pop-up shops tend to be seasonal, you may find our previous article ‘Top 5 Strategies for Seasonal Business Survival’ useful.
You can contact us for to discuss your business ideas. If you want expert, professional advice then you can attend our free one-on-one business advice sessions that run on the first Thursday of every month between 1-5pm. To find out more about our sessions, click here to contact us.

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