Some time ago I was starting to plan the launch of a clothing brand of mine, and I was discussing with a partner about exclusive retail stores we could create to promote and sell our designs, but then I had the idea of running the brand with a "nightclub theory" strategy.
The "nightclub theory" strategy, works on the same way that nightclubs do (rather obvious). Nightclubs make their cash in the first few months of ownership, then suddenly they lose popularity as another pops up across the road, so usually two months down the line the club is taken over by new owners and revamped, given a new look and vibe and wham, it's back in business... for another couple of months before the numbers start dwindling again.
So came the "nightclub theory" strategy which I was interested in running with the clothing line. Due to my move to London, the plan was put on hold but I've now noticed many large and famous brands opening these 'pop-up retail stores', similar to my crazy theory!
The first pop-up brand I discovered that had the same idea was Vacant, a small company that started temporary stores to promote and sell various brands. They started about three years ago (they beat me to it, darn!) and have been interviewed by many publications on the pop-up concept.
The large companies that have followed have been a cat food company in New York for example, called the Meow Mix Company. They open their branded store in and around the city for certain times of the year and this creates buzz for their store and its products. Another company, Delta Airlines did the same and opened up a pop-up store in Soho, New York and had 50 000 visitors within six weeks from opening... not a bad figure indeed for a 'pop-up'.
Target.com is the current pop-up retail king apparently, providing many brands and product under it's roof for five weeks during last year's summer in New York's Rockefeller Center.
As today's consumers head more towards being less brand specific and more style concious, I see this trend creating more of these pop-up retail stores but with new brands, not only old ones - thus increasing exclusivity and a connection with the trendy consumer who discovers these strategically placed stores. I've read of one company so far that has barely marketed their store and shoppers felt they had found something exclusive. There's always something in a product or brand 'feeling exclusive' that gets the consumer going and especially spreading word-of-mouth advertising... consumers are great at keeping secrets... yeah right!
I see the nightclub theory spreading but also the "fast brand" - one that will come and go in a flash, but fulfill the needs of those trendy groups that have money to spend and love feeling part of the exclusive club.
This is sure to start confusing marketing professionals and companies as they recruit staff for these quick stores and leave a few weeks later. An interesting and challenging future non-the-less. One I'm going to be part of for sure! Will you?