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Global trend in pop-up shops hits Cape Town’s streets
Global trend in pop-up shops hits Cape Town’s streets

Global trend in pop-up shops hits Cape Town’s streets

RETAILER NEWS - Aug 10th 2012, 12:27

In line with global trends, pop-up or flash retail stores have hit the streets of Cape Town, and are proving to be a key tool for businesses wanting to gauge different locations and build a market.

Pop-ups occupy temporary spaces from just one day to a few months at a time.

According to Rob Kane, chairman of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District, the format allows businesses to test the waters, and evaluate the appropriateness of a location.

The upside obviously extends to property owners and landlords, who, through the pop-up store, can temporarily fill their vacant retail spaces while they are formalising new leases for incoming tenants.

"A busy, occupied retail space also attracts other potential tenants," Mr Kane said yesterday.

Thessa Bos, co-owner of The Fringe Arts, a local art store, said yesterday the company built its success on the pop-up shop concept.

"Our first pop-up took place in the Cape Town City Hall as part of the Spier Contemporary. Two years and six pop-up shops later, we opened our first permanent store on Kloof Street," Ms Bos said.

"The format works for small and large businesses," she said.

"Large companies create pop-up shops as part of their campaigns, while smaller companies opt for pop-up shops to create awareness for their brand," Mr Kane said.

The British multinational retailer Topshop partnered with the Cape Town boutique Unknown Union in mid-July to launch a pop-up shop and to get a sense of the South African market.

According to Kate Ormrod, retail analyst at London’s Verdict Research, Topshop’s pop-up shop allowed the UK retailer to test the market and build brand awareness. "This has clearly done well, given the announcement of opening stand-alone stores," she said.

Late last month, Arcadia Group, which owned Topshop and Topman, partnered with SA’s Edcon and House of Busby to bring their fast-fashion brands to SA through franchise stores and shop-in-shops.

Other retailers such as Sweden’s H&M opened a 313m² pop-up store in Miami earlier this year to whet the appetite of consumers ahead of the opening of its flagship store, billed for September at the Lincoln Theatre in South Beach.

Other international retailers such as Walmart, Nike and Target have also dabbled with pop-up stores. 

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