There is a great deal of talk in our industry about pop-ups as it’s essential at this time of disruption to help landlords activate voids through securing short-term occupiers.
We believe the secret to the success of a pop-up is targeting brands which fit within an existing mix and complement their surroundings. As such, they must support rather than impair the trading of the existing long-term businesses in the immediate area – a factor which is sometimes overlooked in the pop-up process.
While pop-ups may have been traditionally thought of as just void stop-gaps or a response to seasonal trading opportunities, we have always given them the same care and attention as longer-term lettings. This is because we believe they can contribute far more than just mitigating the financial impact of voids. They are, in effect, an incubator for new brands and concepts while also bringing new animation (and footfall) to a location whilst freshening the overall mix.
We take this area of business so seriously that we have appointed a Head of Pop-Ups, Lucy McGowan-Scanlon, who comes from a retailer background and has extensive experience of sourcing concessions and pop-ups for a major department store. Her wide pool of contacts encompasses new emerging e-commerce brands and a vibrant mix of emerging food & beverage operators who are keen to raise awareness of their offers through making the transition to physical outlets.
Instead of just taking the first credible pop-up offer that we get, we target bespoke sectors using Lucy’s contacts and our database of 800-plus “break-through brands”. Our capability in this area also includes a network of suppliers partners who can help with store staff recruitment; shop fittings and social media exposure. It’s a seamless process for all and lets the new occupier focus on trading and enhancing the location through the generation of marketing exposure. This more considered approach to pop-ups can bring permanent benefits.