The 'popup shop’ is said to have originated in Tokyo in the late 1990’s where designers would briefly occupy a vacant shop or street stall and consumers would line up to purchase limited edition products. This led to at least one retailer in Los Angeles closing their store permanently after a limited range of merchandise had been sold, moving it and repeating the process. So, instead of consumers travelling long distances to the niche retailers, the retailer moved around creating a local sensation in each temporary location.
The trend of popups has evolved into a useful tool for landlords who are now looking to lease short term property. With minimum overheads entrepreneurs are able to experiment with creative and daring businesses propositions that they hope will capture peoples' imagination, ultimately allowing them to establish themselves and take on permanent leases.
Popup shops can contribute to the atmosphere in your town centre by offering something different and quirky. The temporary popup can also be used as a form of incubator to hone the management talents of potential entrepreneurs. By working in partnership with the training providers popup businesses can provide short, bite-sized learning experiences for managers, employees and those seeking pre-employment training. In some places popup and incubator programmes are starting to revitalise neighbourhoods.
In Shoreditch, Boxpark is the world’s first popup mall housed in converted shipping containers in an area now becoming trendy as a result. Wolverhampton and Tiverton also show great examples of popup retail spaces.
There is also plenty of information available from Popup Britain.