“Pop-up” or “popup” is a retail space allowing a company to create a unique environment that engages their customers and generates a feeling of relevance and interactivity. Other consumer retail industries have cottoned on to the concept pretty quickly with pop-up restaurants, pop-up bars and even a pop-up urinal right here in Perth!

But when is a pop-up not really a pop-up? It’s when they suck, basically.

The other day I popped in to one of these so -called “pop-ups”, at least that’s how the owner described it. He was selling fitness equipment in a, you know, pop-up shop format.

Great! What’s different, what’s new or funky, unique in here? What is relevant to me as a consumer walking past to make this a pop-up? How can I interact with whatever they are selling, which again makes this is a pop-up? What massive bargains can I pick up, after all it should be wildly different from your regular shop, right?

Wrong…let’s be frank about this, it was an outlet shop at best. There was some graffiti on the wall, which granted gives it more street cred, but the shop was offering the same products and the same pricing as the online and bricks and mortar stores.

So a pop-up isn’t really a pop-up when your just trying to flog the same shit in a different location; that’s generally called a “new store location”. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for pop-ups and they can add real charisma to a local scene, in particular with the plethora of pop-up bars and restaurants that are embracing the concept. But with a bar or restaurant they are likely to be forced into changing their offering as their supplies and bar/kitchen setup are quite limited. Perfect! Smash out a simple negroni  rather than that cocktail that needs 3 different homemade syrups. Serve up a fried chicken bao instead of that michelin starred dish with microherb garnish.

And to finish with some constructive feedback rather than simply a keyword warrior, here are 17 Pop-Up Store Success Stories You Can Learn From. So go forth and create that pop-up, but please create a unique and relevancy around the offering, otherwise we will just call it an “outlet store”.