We first saw this happening around Halloween time – your local, empty storefronts all of a sudden become “Halloween headquarters.” Only staying for a short time, these retailers take over empty storefronts to sell Halloween costumes and related items.
This week we’ve learned that this concept is coming to the back to school time – notably, Target and Toys R Us are testing it out this season, as people gear up for back to school shopping.
Target’s plan is most interesting – they will be featuring pop up stores in five universities. These stores will display dorm room settings and if students like what they see, they can simply scan the bar codes on the items they’d like to make a purchase with their mobile device.
Pop up stores are on the rise, with an increase of 16% since 2009. This can be a win-win situation, as the empty space is leased out, even for a short period of time, and retailers can use the space for not only additional sales, but also to test new markets and offer products and services in areas where they don’t currently have a presence. By making it more convenient for the consumer, it gives retailers another opportunity to increase brand awareness and gain additional customers.
Parents will be in full shopping mode for back to school items very soon. It will be interesting to see the success in the pop up stores and if this is a trend that will continue in the future.