Retail Space for Pop-Ups is a great way to test the Market

The retail industry continues to make headlines with the collapse of high street names that has suffered during recession. The trend might have made many apprehensive from investing in the retail sector. However, UAE has seen a new trend of pop up shops that test their ideas and gauge interest before actually stepping into the market.

Several art galleries, events and mall venues have been open to pop up shops for a specific period. It gives these budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to trial and test business concepts that they may have, with minimal risks. Several known brands have also started investing in pop up shops which takes their brand to the customers. An increasing number of retailers have noticed instant gratification nature of the customers as the impetus towards temporary retail outlets.

Local entrepreneurs have built a digital community who follows their pop up shops and create curiosity amongst people about where their next pop up shop might be. A good example would be of a fashion brand called Mochi, who started off with the similar concept, and with the enormous response that they got, they have finally opened their bricks-and-mortar outfit.

Brands are using these interim spaces as a means to create buzz, test new concepts or evaluate a new neighborhood. Accessible, mobile and portable they offer customers a unique retail experience and a great way to interact with lesser-known brands. Dubai’s pop up concepts like My Ex Wardrobe, The Urban Yogi, Shoreditch Muse have been a few of the many concepts that show a change in retail trends. Recently, Furla’s exclusive Candy Pop Up store was seen in Dubai Mall. This pop up store showcased a limited edition of the iconic Candy bag.

Market Outside the Box, a project initiated by Dubai Shopping festival, brought together local and regional brands at Dubai’s first sustainable fashion and lifestyle market. Online retail concept, wamli.com had its pop up shop amongst other retailers.

So with the Pop-Up booms, what is crucial to the success, is marketing this concept right. A few key elements to this success would be:

Increasing Curiosity:

Tease your target audience with what you are going to offer. Let your customers follow you, offer something exclusive. With every new location, get your customers guessing, where you will be next.

Social Media Marketing:

Instrumental to marketing your pop-up shop, social media marketing is a cost effective, real time and gives you the conversions you require. Create an event on Facebook, Live Tweet about your set up and location, post Instagram pictures of the location and customer testimonials, Upload pictures on Pinterest and create a short Video of your pop up for YouTube. Cross promote the content on all social media channels and your customers would follow up pop up shop. Social Media helps create curiosity and gets people sharing more about your pop-up shop.

Be Exclusive:

Your pop-up shop must offer something exclusive, a limited edition perhaps! for bigger brands who have invested in a pop-up shop, give your customers a reason to engage with you in this temporary retail space.


Study the market, new events or empty retail spaces which may have a potential for a pop up shop and invest in this place accordingly.

Create an Experience:

One of the biggest advantages of a pop-up shop is the ability to create a unique and unforgettable consumer experience. Whether it is through interactive displays, games, contests or music!

Educate and Train:

A pop up store is an excellent way to educate your customers on all that is great about you. The one on one customer interaction will keep your customers engaged to learn more about your offerings.

Brands must analyze the response from different locations, what the customers were most engaged in; use this data to further invest in a potential bricks-and-mortar concept if needed. Pop Up shop concept has been fair to bigger brands and lesser known brands, given them a platform to showcase their offerings. Malls, Art Galleries, Event spaces and community areas are open to this new retail concept, and brands find it beneficial to reach their target audience and test the market.

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