Pop-ups can revitalise UK retail, 70% consumers agree

Around 70% of consumers think pop-up shops can revitalise UK retail, a new survey has found, with food & drink driving the popularity of the disruptive experience.

A new survey from online marketplace OnBuy.com found that 60% of consumers asked were interested in food and drink pop-ups, compared to only 40% for tech, or 50% fashion.

Nearly 60% of consumers said pop-ups were fun and exciting, and around the same number (57%) thought it an easier environment to discover independent and smaller brands.

Price is also an important consideration. While the overwhelming majority (63%) expected free entry, nearly half (47%) thought it was a good opportunity to pick up a bargain, 40% considered it a realistic insight into the brands pricing, while 37% considered it an opportunity to snag a free sample.

Freebies were one of the top ways prompting customers to attend, it found, along with the experience itself (61%), and the ability to try new products not widely available on the market (37%).

60% of people responded that pop-ups were a fun and exciting, with a similar amount (57%) agreeing it was easier to discover smaller brands and independents through them.

However there were a number of things that would put consumers off – overcrowding (73%), not having products to physically touch or handle (50%), unappealing décor (47%) and not having staff to handle queries.

Last month, Forbes magazine described pop-ups as “an adrenaline shot for retail” for the ‘modern experience economy”.

Commenting on the survey to Onbuy.com, Jamila Juma-Ware and Matthew Wignall of Tailors Gin said getting a foot into the retail market was increasingly difficult, but their weekly gin lounge pop-up provided them with the opportunity to dip their toes into the market with a more considered approach that could be continued if it was successful.

“Opening a business is a huge risk, and the less risk you can open yourself up to the better,” they said. “However, it takes a lot to make sure a concept works. Market yourself, drive awareness and footfall, and ensure there is a demand for what you want to offer. You must maintain the same level of business vision and acumen as a more
‘permanent’ set-up”

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