3 Reasons To Use Fold-Away Retail Stores This Holiday Season

Fold-away retail stores, also referred to as pop-up shops, are the Olympics of commerce. All year, some online retailers plan their short-lived “brick-and-mortar” season, which typically begins and ends within a month. Far from a passing phase, modular retail now represents a monolithic $80 billion industry.


This year, online retailer Wayfair will be offering 300 best-selling SKUs out of 8 million with a touch of holiday décor at Natick Mall in Massachusetts and Westfield Garden State Plaza in New Jersey from November to January. Web giant Amazon opened a pop-up inside the Mall of America in Minneapolis for three months, allowing buyers the chance to browse 40 Good Housekeeping Magazine curated products they can then buy online. Harry & David will open 20 new holiday pop-ups and Party City will operate 50 pop-up toy stores to take the place of Toys R Us. Facebook plans to make their temporary retail debut of “Most Loved Brands” at nine Macy’s locations.


With help from Emagispace, you too can be part of the retail extravaganza. Here are three reasons a fold-away retail store is more than just hype.


1. Save money and make money.

According to The Storefront, launching a temporary retail shop is 80% cheaper than opening up a brick-and-mortar. In fact, unique spaces to host your shop can be found for as low as $50/day. The low barrier to entry makes it a feasible option for Etsy artisans and DIYers to break out in front of a real audience.


“The experience broadens the traditional retail sector with season products and temporary events that are appealing to a wide demographic,” explains Emilie Cameron, director of public affairs for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, which is hosting a pop-up experience at the Downtown Sacramento Holiday Ice Rink in St. Rose of Lima Park. “With Sacramento’s creative class growing, we’re excited to see entrepreneurs testing the market downtown. The pop-up concept couldn’t be a better way to do that,” she adds.


The vast majority of people (88%) prefer browsing online, but buying in-store, according to a study by RedCloud. Why not offer your browsers a physical location where they can handle your products to gain buyer confidence and close the deal? One Northwestern retailer generated $200,000 in revenue during a two-week stint in a 20×20 retail pop-up in a busy gas station parking lot, according to Practical Ecommerce.


2. Create a sense of urgency and loyalty.

Everybody is shopping now. The social media buzz is thick: “Did you do your shopping yet? Where did you go? What did you buy?” Not only that, but fold-away retail stores have that whole “here today, gone tomorrow” air about them that solicits visitors with the “Fear Of Missing Out” to buy. They can’t just come back to the shop after the next paycheck because, not only will the product they want likely not be there, but the entire physical store may not be there either.


Retail pop-ups love to feature limited-time holiday items and exclusive goods that can’t be procured elsewhere – not even online. As Psychology Today explains, shoppers love to purchase on impulse to avoid loss, save money, early adopt, and get that instant high that only shopping brings.


“Similar to any marketing channel, this is just an attempt to make our great experience come to life in a physical format,” Wayfair’s VP of Marketing Bob Sherwin puts it, adding: “We have a strong hypothesis that this will increase our customer engagement and loyalty.”


3. Generate brand awareness by making an impression.

For many cities, pop-up holiday shopping represents an intriguing tourism draw to the region, offering the works of local artisans and one-of-a-kind experiences. In Buffalo, New York, for instance, you can shop with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and Disney princesses, enjoy a complimentary brunch before your busy day, or stroll around to the sounds of a live DJ with a cocktail in hand. There are pop-ups in the city’s architectural gems, in the trendy Elmwood Village neighborhood, in local breweries, and down by the waterfront.


For brands, pop-ups create a unique opportunity to “make brick and mortar exciting again” by providing a shopping experience unlike any other. The holiday markets transform that exhausting trip to the mall into an enjoyable experience of food, friends, music, crafting, photo opps, and festivities. People are more likely to remember your brand if you provide them with a memorable day, personalized attention, and unique goods they haven’t seen before.


Get Started!

Emagispace offers customized fold-away retail store components that are durable, affordable, and as easy to set up as a Lego tower. A team of two can assemble a whole store in less than an hour or we can provide the manpower support if desired. We can accommodate last-minute retail whims to get your branded shop ready in time for the holidays. Contact us for pricing on our modular retail solutions.


Additional Resources:

  1. The Storefront – What Exactly Is A Pop-Up? https://www.thestorefront.com/mag/what-exactly-is-a-pop-up-shop/#ixzz2dNPSjIoe
  2. The Storefront – Last Minute Holiday Pop Up Store, https://www.thestorefront.com/mag/last-minute-holiday-pop-up-store/
  3. RedCloud – Webrooming Statistics All Retailers Need To Know, https://www.readycloud.com/info/webrooming-statistics-all-retailers-need-to-know
  4. PracticalEcomm – 4 Tips For A Successful Holiday Pop-Up Shop, https://www.practicalecommerce.com/4-Tips-for-a-Successful-Holiday-Pop-up-Shop