Will Pop-Up Shops Overtake Traditional Retailing?

Will Pop-Up Shops Overtake Traditional Retailing?

In the past few years, pop-up stores, also known as flash retail, has become exceedingly popular. However, temporary retailing is not new. Ideas like summer Farmer’s markets, autumnal Halloween stores, and Chicago’s own wintertime Christkindlmarket have existed for a while. Temporarily retailing can be traced back as early as the year 1298 in Vienna when the King of Austria let citizens hold a December market, or Krippenmarkt.


Flash forward to the 21st century: where online purchasing is increasingly common. Many store chains are suffering massive closures, such as Toys ‘R Us, Walgreens, Gap, and Kmart. Pop-up shops are known for temporarily opening in vacant storefronts, so it is easy for pop-up sellers to capitalize on the plummet of its competitors. For online retailers, opening a Pop-Up shop is a low-risk way to sell in a brick and mortar store, while getting all the publicity from foot traffic, public curiosity, with future brand recognition and increased sales as the benefit.


For the online retailers that open pop-up stores, they serve more as PR or market-testing new products rather than expecting in-store sales to be where the brand makes most of their money. As Glossier founder Emily Weiss put it, their Summer 2015 pop up was “almost like the giant mood-board for the company we’re hoping to build.” The consumers approved Weiss’ vision for Glossier, which allowed it to become so successful today.


The Pop-Up industry was valued at $50 Billion in 2016. People like the idea of temporary sold items, it makes the products exclusive, and therefore trendy, because they’re available at your fingertips for only a short time.


This trend purchasing behavior offers a lot of insight as to how to advertise and promote new products. Exclusivity is key to the 21st century marketplace.