Posted by: Tony Carson | 6 November, 2009

Pop-ups: the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur

Think of the medieval marketplace, often in the square in front of the cathedral (or even in the cathedral). Sellers would set up their wares in the dawning light and cart what’s left away as night fell. No muss, no fuss and no overhead.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

A new version of that is becoming the rage. The pop-up shop.

Got something to sell? Take a short lease on one of the countless vacant shops, market the hell out of your product, then bugger off.

We’ve seen these kind of stores for years, often pathetic rooms with jerry-rigged racks. Now, in this pathetic, jerry-rigged economy, they’ve taken off.

And it isn’t just the little guy with a few t-shirts. Chain-stores are getting into the act: Toys R Us has 350 ‘express toy outlets.’ Others are opening pop-ups to sell a popular item or two.

Pop-ups provide an opportunity for retailers to test a product and create some buzz around their brand. “They are making a short-term investment for what could be a long-term gain,” says Consolo, who has been besieged with requests for prime pop-up locations throughout New York City.

Kind of takes ‘product on demand’ to a whole new level.


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