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The Bright Future of Pop-Up Retail

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This year’s worldwide decline in sales at physical retail locations forced many retailers to close their doors, resulting in a surplus of retail space and spiking rates of vacancies reported globally.

Landlords are desperate to fill their empty units and it’s become important for landlords to explore different rent options, as brands are forced to rethink their presence at retail. Pop-up shops are one of the solutions to engage customers while expanding presence at retail and keeping costs down. They offer a new way for brands to create an experience directly with consumers, boost their awareness, and drive sales, both physically and digitally.

Brands all across the globe caught on to this trend and are using popup stores to launch new concepts and show off their omnichannel capabilities.

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While some customers remain reluctant to shop in stores this year, pop-up experiences will grow in popularity over the coming months and are already thriving in the biggest retail markets in the world. Short-term retail makes the most of tiny spaces to create intimate consumer experiences. Primarily, popups are created to push the boundaries of traditional retail, as they feature a lighttouch for maximum impact, built specifically to make a statement and catch the attention of new and existing customers.

Pop up stores are the perfect solution for big and small brands alike, as they address a number of current issues at retail:

1. Provide an expanded or alternate footprint to help retailers mitigate long wait times (due to physical distancing measures) in areas where they are seeing a lot of foot traffic; this will be especially needed during the upcoming holiday shopping season

2. Allow brands to create an enhanced experience and interact directly with a consumer in ways that they may not able to through traditional retail channels;

3. Provide brands and retailers alike with an additional location for consumers to pickup online orders, as shipping/delivery providers have already flagged impending issues due to heightened demand in Q4.

Even with online becoming a key distribution channel for many brands, physical retail is still where brands create the connection with the customer through physical consumer experiences. According to data analysis carried out by RetailDive, two-thirds of millennials still shop instore on a weekly basis, favouring a mixture of in-store and online experiences.


Karma Casting Case Study: Amazon Canada Pop-Up


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In an effort to build a bridge between digital and physical retail spaces, Amazon created a unique interactive pop-up space, where Torontonians were able to engage with Amazon’s lineup of Alexa-powered devices and Karma Ambassadors were on hand to explain the space and educate customers on product features.

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Karma Casting worked closely with Yellow House Events and Amazon, and oversaw all Brand Ambassador-related aspects for this event.

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Amazon placed significant importance on the initial immersive experience with a product before the customer proceeded to purchase online or instore. Additionally, the Amazon pop-up offered a number of benefits:

1. Shoppers were able to interact with brand ambassadors who supported with line management and consumer flow, provided product information, brand storytelling and converted sales;

2. Created an opportunity to integrate a tech-approach and incorporated AR scanning to wow visitors, as each product on display had a printed product information card which included a basic description and an Amazon SmileCode. Customers used the Amazon app to scan the SmileCode and were brought to that product’s page;

3. Social sharing incentives;

4. An element of exclusive opportunities to purchase limited-edition products.

These innovative features helped Amazon to stand out among the competition, as more and more brands are turning to pop-up retail solutions to provide a unique experience for their customers.


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Pop-up shops are best positioned to maximize brand awareness at retail, with numerous benefits from lower rent prices to building greater engagement with their consumer.


They bring greater brand discovery, using micro-, short term retail units as part of a turnkey retail platform. This allows for a creative solution with custom-designed fixturing systems, digital media walls, and brand ambassadors to tell the story of the brand and convert sales!


Ready to showcase your brand with a cool pop-up space or simply looking for ideas? We’re here to help!

Categorised as 2020, All