Pop-up stores are all the rage these days. In an age of shifty consumer demand, due to the lingering recession and the glut of new products coming out, as well as the need to stand out in an overcrowded marketplace, pop-up stores make perfect sense. They require low upfront investment in an age of increasingly pricey real estate, and they can generate high value in sales and gain valuable attention to the cause or the brand.
There has over the last years been some great examples of pop-up stores used for pure retail. See for example this Business Insider listicle of creative pop-ups.
What’s interesting now is that the concept is moving beyond pure retail, and becoming a versatile tool in several industries. There was recently a pop-up store in Sweden that allowed for printing-on-demand of magazines. This seems like a great solution for the new generation of print magazines. For magazines, their online presence will be their main avenue, but it is vitally important to exist in print also. However, it’s an expensive proposition. Printing-on-demand in pop-up stores therefore seems like a great solution.
For more dire human needs, there was recently a discussion in the Monocle 24’s The Stack podcast of how pop-ups can be used in crisis areas, to quickly supply critical materials. One could indeed argue that the whole pop-up revolution takes its inspiration from the by-necessity ephemeral efforts of help organizations, such as UNHCR.
And then, last week, San Francisco and the global tech community was mystified as to what Google was doing building barges in the San Francisco Bay. The mystery was solved (for now) with the revelation that it will be a movable pop-up showroom for Google Glass! It sounds like it could indeed be awesome – it could have different rooms with different use cases for Google Glass, and show off this potentially revolutionary product in revolutionary way. It follows on from the niche/luxury efforts they’ve had so far, with $1500 for the explorer program.
Photo credits: Wikipedia, tedeytan