Grab it before it goes!

2015-11-09 –

They pop up unexpectedly, then disappear after a few days. The creative retail spaces known as pop-up stores were once sales tools for unknown designers, but this format is increasingly being used to promote established brands.

Limited availability can make almost anything more attractive. Well known to travelling merchants of old, this technique makes customers feel they might miss out if they do not act promptly – especially as the window of opportunity to buy closes so quickly.

With its slogan ‘A new world every week’, Tchibo was one of the first to perfect the idea in modern retail and was a pioneer of limited-time availability. Discount stores have since latched onto the basic idea with promotion weeks. The considerable queues on promotional days, often long before the store opens, are self-sustaining; consumers feel they will miss out on something important if they are not there.

Today, creative retail formats abound for just about every product – whether gummy bears or fashion, electrical appliances or cosmetics. Bikini Berlin is an excellent example of how this works in practice; its short-term lease boxes, the ever-changing retail spaces that form the heart of the Bikini Berlin concept mall, are fully subscribed.

Transience is an important element of this concept as it influences the way in which customers perceive – and buy – products. When under time pressure, shoppers buy 20–30 per cent more, according to Wolf Wagner, retail and consumer product expert at consultancy firm Ernst & Young. In some cases, they are even willing to dig deeper into their pockets. The reason is absolutely clear: to move towards being ‘sexier and hipper’, says Wagner.

The pop-up store mentality is also captured within supermarkets and shopping malls in the form of seasonal displays. Organised by theme, such as Back-to-school, Valentines Day, Mothers Day, etc., these promotional offers are also characterised by their limited-time availability.

Bikini Berlin houses 25 pop-up stores. Plain retail boxes can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis, encouraging creative presentation.



For many retailers, Football Word Cup 2014 was a perfect occasion to create mini pop-up stores and seasonal display areas.



In its "Heimat Hessen" section, EDEKA retailer Scheck in Frankfurt offers a changing range of regional products.