Pop up shops increasing in the Christmas period

After a tough year for the high street, retailers are looking to boost their Christmas sales to salvage something from what has been a difficult year. Pop up shops are a great way to do this as they are no longer just a publicity stunt and are providing retailers with a way to increase their sales in the short term or even to get their toes wet in a market without committing to a longer lease.

Fashion chain Hobbs is among those who are opening makeshift stores for the first time this year while other retailers such as HMV are increasing the number of pop ups in comparison to this time last year. The additional space “allows us to increase the profile of the brand at an important time of year,” said Hobbs’ Chief Executive Officer Nicky Dulieu.

Pop-ups “are becoming more prevalent around seasonal events, and Christmas is the biggest,” said Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research at Mintel International in London.

Average UK retail sales this year have risen less than inflation, meaning shoppers are buying less, according to the British Retail Consortium. December spending will rise by 3 per cent, Mintel forecasts, providing an extra boost to shopkeepers with temporary outlets.

About 14 per cent of UK retail outlets are empty, up slightly from last year, according to researcher Local Data Company, which says an average of 20 stores closed daily in the country’s top 500 town centres during the first half of 2012. This means landlords are more willing to offer shorter leases. We at Popupspace see the effect of empty space on landlords every day. Property owners are certainly more amenable to pop up leasing and more flexible than they have been historically.

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