The Pop-Up Series: Store Concept (Post 1 of 5)

Planning your pop-up shop is an exciting time. You will have secured a space where you can show the world your brand, merchandise and story. First thing of note when planning your pop-up shop is to remember that your pop-up is an event. It is an opportunity to send a message, interact with customers, leave a long lasting impression and sell product (in that order). Whether you are a new brand or a brand with a legacy, in-person interaction is priceless and when done right is another chance to build a strong relationship between customers and your brand.

Step 1:

Choose a central and unified concept for your pop-up event.

Key Questions to Ask Yourself:

1)   Are you activating a new brand and brand message? If so, do you have a clear picture of your customer hook?

2)   Are you moving inventory of an existing brand, ie: having a sample sale for your end of the season stock? In this case your hook maybe clear, but you still cannot forgot about branding.

3)   Are you introducing something new within an established brand and therefore marketing and feedback are your goals?

Once you determine your goals and customer hook, you can begin fleshing out your design and marketing plan. You want to be sure all elements are consistent and you and your team are sending out a clear message to your prospective and existing customers. It will also help you in determining the right space and location for your pop-up.

In all instances, a storefront with a window to the street is important, and is even more critical when you are a new brand activating for the first time. When you are newly launching you need to be positioned to grab street traffic and in a location with easy transportation options, as your mailing list is most likely still smaller at this stage. If you have a strong following and need a larger “event-like” pop-up space, then you may be able to be flexible on our window being street level or on a high traffic street.

Thinking through the size of your space is crucial. Do you have enough merchandise to tell a story in your space? And, conversely do you have enough space so your shop does not look cluttered and you can clearly tell your visual story when customers enter?

Here is a list of key questions to ask when deciding on a space:

  • Does the venue have the essentials you need?
    • If you have jewelry can you spotlight the details?
    • If you have apparel what are your options with racks?
    • Are there built-in shelves or will you need to buy furniture?
  • Are you in an easy to get to location? What is the foot traffic like? What are the busy hours and what is the demographic of the people passing by daily.
  • Is the space equipped with wifi? You will most likely want to take payments via Square or Inner Fence on a mobile device.
  • Is there an alarm system? Your insurance will want to know your merchandise is secure.  And what insurance does the space require?
  • Is there AC or heat?
  • What are your options for painting the walls and hanging fixtures?

The list above may feel basic, but without the basics you may find yourself with questions and issues later on in the process. You should also always ask for a floor plan so you are properly measuring out your set up.

The beginning steps are under-way, with step one: concept and space. Next post we will discuss storytelling from inside & out.

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