Pop-Up Stores: Don't Burst Your Pop-Up's Bubble Before it Grows
A growing number of cross-channel retailers are turning to pop-up stores to launch products and concepts, generate buzz, build brand awareness, and dip their toes in the water of new locations. But something that might begin with a lightbulb-over-the-head scenario takes a lot more to put into action than the simple act of turning on a light switch, displaying an open sign and unlocking a door.
Just because a business is designed to be of a temporary nature doesn't mean any less work needs to be involved in the ramp-up process than what goes into starting a more traditional storefront. The old adage rings true: The more you put in, the more you get out.
Here are a few important factors that you should consider before opening a pop-up store:
Plan ahead. Set up a solid business plan months before your projected opening date. This shouldn't be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation. If you choose to go that route, it'll show. The more prepared you are, the easier it'll be to face the challenges and annoyances that come with pop-up stores. Planning several months ahead affords you an opportunity to save considerable time and money by creating a budget and identifying your business objectives long before you enter into a temporary lease arrangement.
Location, location, location. Finding the right spot at the right time is crucial to your success. Walk around the neighborhood of any location you're considering at different times of the day in order to get a take on the tone and visibility. Keep track of foot and vehicle traffic counts and alert yourself to any potential safety issues. Talk to area store owners to find out if there are complementary businesses that you could tap for co-marketing promotions. Don't settle for the first locale that looks good. Explore all options and be sure to complete your due diligence to see if the area's demographics match your target audience. That alone provides an opportunity for your intended customer base to more easily find you — and could promote foot traffic.