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Pop up prep

Popup Now - Store 2 Complete Shot 3_Sorry folks, but gone are the days you can throw a few racks, a table and till into a space with some outdated stock and hope it’ll fly.

Nope, it probably won’t happen.

As the pop up phenomenon is sweeping the nation, I thought it timely to circulate some tools of the trade to help pop up wannabe’s make a success of their short term, here today, gone tomorrow retail escapade.

My tips will be covered in the coming weeks, but first thing’s first, let’s start with a pop up plan.

Step One – Plan your pop up

Like any business, success comes with a plan. Start with being clear on your goals and this will make finding a space easier. Whip up a business plan, which needs to include:

•    Why are you opening up a pop up store? Is it for brand awareness, appeal to new clients, move stock, to trial bricks and mortar, or a new location?

•    Who do you want to attract? A new clientele or market, more of the same, or a new raft of customers for your seasonal offering. It may even be that you want your existing customers to see you in a new light, with a completely different experience.

•    What are your financial goals? Will popping up give you value to your business or brand? Will you need to hire additional staff or can you utilise the ones you’ve got. What is the budget you have to spend on the venture?

•    When will you pop up?  Is it around a new product launch, or the end of financial year? Can you do it at a time that won’t take away from the existing business or is your offering a seasonal one – Christmas, Easter, Valentines. If so, ensure you pop up with plenty of time to make the most of your season but not too far out, so your merchandise becomes irrelevant.

•    Where are you popping up? If it’s purely clearance, location may not be so important because once you tell your database of customers it will become a destination location. If it’s a new product you’re pushing or you want to create brand awareness, you’ll probably need somewhere with a lot of foot traffic.

•    How long do you plan on staying open? Always allow yourself at least three to four weeks to see results. If you’re hoping the pop up space could become a long term lease, make sure you make that clear when you’re researching spaces.

Next step is how to find and budget for your pop up space. That’s coming next week!

Lizzi Hines is MD of Spaceworks. For more information, phone 0800 2 FIT OUT, or visit

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