They’re not just for Halloween anymore: Pop-up stores of all kinds are sprouting up year-round — some pegged to other holidays, others to special promotions or one-time sales. Ones selling ghost and goblin garb, however, still predominate.
Nikoleta Panteva, senior retail analyst for market research firm IBISWorld in Los Angeles, told ABC News that pop-ups have proliferated from 2,043 in 2009 to 2,459 this year. Of those, Halloween pop-ups accounted for 1,304 in 2009 and will account for 1,706 this season.
Pop-ups are short-term retail establishments pegged to some holiday, season, trend or other ephemeral occurrence. There are pop-ups keyed to Christmas and Valentine’s Day. A clothing retailer looking to unload merchandise either overstocked or out of season can use pop-ups to unload it. Conversely, a tech company like Microsoft, looking to showcase its newest tablet, can also go the pop-up route.
Christina Norsig publishes the website PopUpInsider and is author of the book “PopUp Retail: How You Can Master This Global Marketing Phenomenon.” She told ABC News it was the recession that really got the movement off the ground: Landlords looking to fill vacant retail spaces in malls and neighborhoods started offering cheap deals to short-term tenants.
The number of pop-ups has exploded, she said, because both retailer and landlord stand to benefit: The landlord makes revenue from property that would otherwise be unproductive. In mall situations, where the owner has a vacancy, she likens the advent of a pop-up store to replacing a missing tooth: it supports the health of all the surrounding businesses. Plus, she said, not every retail concept needs or can support a full-year lease.