The purpose of this paper is to outline the origins and nature of the pop up retail phenomenon, examine the development and characteristics of pop up shops within the UK and offer some reflections on the impact of pop up shops within the UK’s town and city centres and on the role of pop up shops within the wider retail economy.
The paper begins with a brief review of the pop up retail phenomenon and this is followed by an examination of the development and characteristics of pop up shops in the UK. The information on which the paper is based is drawn from the corporate websites of pop up shop operators and property management companies and agencies.
The paper reveals that pop up shops have been developed in a variety of formats and locations within the UK and a number of factors driving pop up shop development are identified including high retail vacancy rates in shopping centres, relaxations in planning regulations, the opportunity for retailers and entrepreneurs to market test products and brands and changes in customer behaviour and consumer culture. Looking to the future pop up shops may make but a small physical contribution to increasing the number of retail units on the High Street but by enhancing the experiential environment for consumers, they may make an important contribution to the quality of shopping.
The paper provides an accessible review of the origins, development and possible impact of pop up shops within the UK and as such will interest property professionals, academics and students interested in changes in the retail environment.
David Hillier, was at the Centre for Police Sciences, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, UK, unfortunately he passed away after a short illness, on 4 May, 2017.
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