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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Ebay pops up in Covent Garden

ebay_store-blog-thirdFurther to their recent online pop up shop, Ebay opened a physical pop up shop in Covent Garden last weekend. The shop was different to most as it did not feature any products on shelves, but instead used QR codes and augmented reality to links for shoppers to buy from pages on the Ebay site.

Ebay is expecting a third of Christmas purchases to be made through mobile applications this year and the shop was a good way to showcase the company’s broad range of apps. Ebay predicted that Sunday 2nd December would be the busiest online shopping day of 2012.

Ebay is not the only company predicting a surge in online sales at the beginning of December, with Experian Hitwise predicting 115 million visits to retail websites on Monday 3rd which would be a rise of 36% from 2011.

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Curious Makers pop up shop

Curious MakersSunday 9th December is the date for the exclusive Curious Makers pop up shop at 297 Hoxton Street, London.

Curious Makers is a collective of Hackney based designers and they will be selling original Christmas presents such as prints from Idly Doodling, jewellery from Lizzie King and Jenna Garner, zines and booklets from Will Conway and other presents all in wrapping paper from Frinton Press.

There will also be a talk on time travel from Will Conway and plenty of mulled wine and hand made treats from Wild Mizuna to warm you on your shopping quest!

The pop up shop is open from 10am to 6pm Sunday 9th December. For more information see www.curiousmakers.co.uk.

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Lucky Voice pop up shop

Lucky VoiceSelfridges, London is hosting the Lucky Voice karaoke pop up shop from now until 13th December.

The pop up space will have a special themed event, ‘The Big Duet’, every week and special guests to entertain all. The company will be filming duets and posting them on its website where a public vote will take place for a grand final in December.

So pop along and sing your heart out – you never know what you might win!

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John Lewis to play host to Berwin and Berwin re-launch

Berwin and BerwinThe family run suit maker is re-launching its brand in the Oxford Street flagship John Lewis store. The pop up shop will showcase a limited edition collection of suits and jackets, all made using English wool. There will also be a range of complementary shirts and ties on offer.

Head of International Commerce Kate Berwin said: ‘’We are thrilled to be bringing our family name back to the high street, especially as it has so much history and recognition within men’s tailoring across the UK.”

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James Franco’s holiday job in a mall

House of VoltaireActor James Franco is among celebrities taking new jobs over the Christmas period and who will be manning a pop up kiosk in Adams Row, Mayfair, with all funds going to South London art gallery House of Voltaire. With pieces priced from £1 to £20,000 there should be something to suit most budgets.

Joe Scotland, Director at Studio Voltaire said: ‘We are really excited to be opening a temporary outpost in the heart of Mayfair again. House of Voltaire is a wonderful opportunity to raise money for Studio Voltaire’s artistic community and public programmes.’

Open now until 15th December

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Re:So

Southampton SolentSouthampton Solent University has opened the first “student enterprise” pop up store in a UK shopping centre.

Re:So – which takes its name from “Retail Solent” – is the result of a collaboration between Southampton’s Marlands Shopping Centre and the University.

The idea behind the project is to give students a real feel for business and prepare them for moving into industry themselves. The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Van Gore, officially opened the store and said: “The main reason for the University to be involved in this project is to enhance the student experience. This innovative retail project is one of several initiatives that you will see from Solent as we pioneer different ways of enhancing student employability.”

Lisa Mann, Programme Group Leader for Fashion Management says: “Our emphasis has always been to develop the real industry-led skills that students need to combine artistic credibility with commercial vigour, and this project is perfectly placed to develop these skills in tandem.”

More information about the project is available at http://so-blog.tumblr.com/

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Harrods Window 2.0

harrods-logoThe famous department store in London has become very high tech with its window display, courtesy of Mont Blanc.

With augmented reality displays, Harrods shoppers can download a free app to their phone, point it at the displays and enter the virtual Mont Blanc pop up shop and art exhibition.

Harrods will be selling four exclusive products by Mont Blanc and visitors will be able to view art works from the Mont Blanc cutting edge art exhibition. The exhibition is based in Hamburg and is part of the Mont Blanc young artist patronage project.

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Private home pop up galleries

rcaPreston Fitzgerald, collector of art and antiques, owns a beautiful home from which he has let students from the RCA’s ceramics and glass course stage a sale. The RCA students approached Fitzgerald and his partner Cedric Smith with the idea of exhibiting work in a private home.

This seems to be a growing trend in the art world – Yvonna Demczynska, who has her own stand-alone gallery, Flow, in Notting Hill, has another reason for exhibiting work in private houses. “We can place ceramics, glass and silverware in the domestic context for which they were designed,” she says. “The objects come to life and allow people to envisage beautiful handcrafted pieces in their own homes.”

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Northern Ireland vacancy rate highest in the UK

niirtaWith one in five local shops empty (NIRC shop vacancy study), it is Northern Ireland that has the highest vacancy rate in the whole of the UK. If not for pop up shops and charity shops, the high streets would be full of empty premises.
Aodhan Connolly of The Retail Consortium said “The good news is that footfall is up – but by the same token questions need to be asked as to why that is not translating into sales. We did have a bit of growth for September but now, coming into Christmas, it is a very worrying time for retailers as far as what people are spending goes.”
Meanwhile the NI Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) is pushing for the Executive to take urgent action in light these disturbing figures. “The Executive needs a new joined up strategy to tackle this problem, alongside comprehensive retail development plans for each town and city to reverse this decline. NIIRTA has already published a 50 point plan, Town Centre First, setting out our ideas and we will continue to bring solutions to Ministers on this issue” said Chief Executive Glyn Roberts.
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