Popping up in a shopping centre is never easy especially if this is your first time.
Since we have been doing pop ups across Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney over the last 5 years, I thought I might write a handy pop up guide.
With more and more retailers closing and the general retail economy slowing down.
This is actually a good time to do a pop up in a Shopping centre as you may be able to negotiate a more favourable rental fee or even a shorter-term pop up (week, 4 days, weekend trade) to allow you to test the centre first before committing to a longer term.
Remember there is no harm in asking.
This is very important as not every space in a centre is equal.
Most of the time leasing managers will give you 2nd tier sites first.
We have seen vendors do well in a good spot in a small shopping centre and we also have seen a vendor go bust at one of Australia’s largest shopping centre.
It is up to you to do your research beforehand to avoid these mistakes.
At Pop up finds we always go and visit the Shopping centre and sites to gauge the
- Shopping Demographics – is it the right shoppers for your products.
- Foot traffic and flow – is there enough people walking through and are you in a spot that doesn’t block walking traffic. (e.g. If someone is stopping at your pop up to shop, are they blocking people from getting through)
- Size of space – does the space fit your furniture and fit outs.
- Surrounding retailers – Are the brands around you a good fit (e.g. If you are selling fashion clothing then being in front of Woolworths might not be suitable)
Once you have figured out the right space for you then make a suggestion to the leasing manager that it is the most suitable space for your brand.
Furniture and Fit outs
It is very important to invest in your furniture and fit outs when attempting to do a Shopping centre pop up.
In fact, this is one of the main reason’s vendors get their application knocked back.
Think about it… If you were next to Sunglass Hut and they are paying hundreds of thousands in rent and you set up with your plastic table and chair. They probably wouldn’t be too impressed!
The leasing manage has a duty to look after their big tenants first.
You don’t have to spend a lot of your furniture, there are some great items from Kmart and Ikea that you could use or you could rent some furniture if you don’t want to purchase.
Most shopping centres will require you to set up before trade and start trading when the doors open.
We have seen time and time again vendors/brands not ready for trade in the morning due to late arrival from traffic or unpacking and setting up takes too long.
If you are there for only a short term, you want to maximise every minute you are there to make as much return on investment as possible.
Ask the leasing manager if you can set up the night before, we always do and sometimes let vendors come and leave their products in our lockable furniture so the next morning they have less things to worry about.
Remember in the morning staff are waiting around for their stores to open or grabbing their morning coffees so this could be a potential customer.
Shopping centres trade is very different to trading at a Market.
For Markets – Shoppers are usually coming to see the Market and the vendors so they have more time to spend.
For Shopping Centres – Shoppers are going there to do what they need to do (bank, post office, groceries etc) so you have a shorter time frame to attract their attention so everything must be on point with your pop up.
- Pricing tags and labels are all correctly displayed
- Email mailing list and business cards available
- Ensure all products are displayed clearly for shoppers to browse efficiently as they are time poor
Ensure all excess products and cardboard boxes are hidden.
If you have an Online store, please remember to a have a mailing list that shoppers can sign up to.
You might want to offer customers or potential customers a free shipping code or 10% if they purchase from your online store on their next order.
This is a good way to track if customers in that area would purchase from your online store.
Some leasing managers are becoming more flexible and allowing more than one brand to pop up at a site.
If you know of a complimentary vendor/brand you could each take half the space and split the costs to make it even more affordable!
Hopefully with theses tips and tricks, you will be more confident in doing a pop up shop as it is a great way to test your products in a retail environment.
Popupfinds.com is a one stop shop for all things pop ups and can connect your business to last minute spaces from all the major property groups.
Do you have any extra tips or questions? Please post below.