£2.3bn pop-up shop economy a permanent feature of retail industry says Nottingham research

Pop-up shops have been identified as one of the largest areas for growth in the UK retail landscape and are expected to remain part of the industry for years to come, new Nottingham research shows.


Research by Dr Charlotte Shi, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, has found that pop-up shops are becoming important to big brands while also serving as an entry platform for market newcomers.

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A report on Britain’s pop-up retail economy by the Centre for Economics and Business Research has estimated that pop-up retailing contributes £2.3 billion to the UK economy a year.


Dr Shi, who lectures in fashion marketing and branding at the School of Art & Design, said: “Pop-ups are at the forefront of today’s retail innovation and are being used by emerging and established brands alike to create new and innovative shopping experiences.

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“It’s suggested that many successful pop-up ventures transition into established retailers, and that a growth for the pop-up retail sector has been a catalyst for the regeneration of urban retail areas.


“Pop-up shops provide customers with a more approachable access to luxury brands and create different shopping experiences, like elements of surprise and novelty in holiday-themed temporary environments.


“Louis Vuitton, Burberry and more appear to be strategically using pop-ups as part of their integrated marketing strategies. They understand that modern and younger consumers want to enjoy experiences and are looking at pop-ups to stimulate them. We still shop in the high street, but our perception shopping offline is changing.”


Pop-up shops – believed to have started in Los Angeles in the 1990s – are a temporary retail-orientated setting or territory designed to foster a direct customer/brand interaction for a limited period.

The most recent data available shows that there were more than 10,500 pop-up shops in the UK, employing more than 26,000 people.

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Dr Shi added: “Pop-up shops have given retailers the opportunity to interact with customers, express the inspiration behind their collections and tell the story behind their products.


“Moreover, the extensive use of social media by brands around pop-up activity has served as an additional form of experiential marketing and created ongoing communities of interest.


“After starting in the UK in food and fashion industy, we expect pop-up shops will start to spread to other sectors. It’s a clear area for growth and more businesses are recognising the potential of pop-ups.”


Dr Shi is set to present her findings at the Academy of Marketing conference from 3 to 6 July, at Hull University Business School, in Hull, UK.