Interview: Pop-Up stores show big trend in retail business: U.S. economist

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-16 03:53:40|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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By Xinhua Writers Sun Oumeng, Yuan Yue

NEW YORK, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- The pop-up stores have certainly been a very big trend in retail in the United States and many places around the world, J.P. Eggers, an associate professor of management and organizations in New York University, predicts.

"I think it has been pretty popular in New York for a while, and I was going to say it has been a pretty big trend accelerating over the last 15 years," Eggers told Xinhua in a recent interview.

"There are probably a number of big reasons for this," he explained. Pop-up stores have been attractive because of lower cost of renting real estate, lack of demand for other types of stores, and entrepreneurs who want to try out their concept and get a chance to see how the public reacts to it in different ways.

"The last thing I can think about that makes them very attractive as well is the idea that the public tends to be attracted to the event type marketing," said Eggers.

The idea that a store could be open for a limited period of time and then closes and something else comes in, makes the pop-up store most likely as an event, which is likely to attract more attention than just a regular store opening that's intended to be permanent in that way.

Meanwhile, many brands view pop-up stores as a marketing tool as much as a retail opportunity. Eggers said retailers are probably not making a lot of money actually on the store in terms of sales, but in terms of the return for their advertising dollars.

The economist said the pop-up store certainly works best for any kind of experiential good, the kind of a thing that consumers can't really tell how good it is or how much they're going to like until they've actually had it, this is where online clothing and things like that have been struggling for a while.

"I think that's the natural place where these types of companies will continue to use pop-up stores," the professor said. "And I think there will be certainly an increasing trend in pop-up stores."

As more retailers moves online, the demand for physical storefronts goes down. But such trend makes it even easier for pop-up stores to come in, as the rents at those physical stores are decreasing.

In addition, as long as marketers and brand people are struggling to find ways to connect with consumers, as people watch fewer and fewer commercials on TV, and even online advertising has become kind of relatively old and stale in many cases, pop-up stores provide a great way for brands to really connect with their consumers.

"We will see more and more brands, both new brands that look to do this to try and test out their idea and their brand with consumers but also established brands using this to try and find different ways to communicate with consumers," said Eggers.

He also mentioned that the pop-up stores are best fit with big cities, as there is lots of physical retail space and the distance to travel to get them is relatively short.

"So, it becomes relatively easy for an event like this to attract the consumers," he added.

However, he said he wouldn't think it would make a lot of financial sense to make the investment first for a small town, "but once they've made it and done it in New York, in Los Angeles, in Chicago, in London and in Beijing, maybe then it makes more sense to take that and have it travel around the country."