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What's the Deal with Pop-Up Shops?

Edited by Admin
Whats the Deal with Pop-Up Shops?

Gone before you even know it. Pop-up retail stores have grown immensely popular in the past years, especially in Toronto. From the KitKat Chocolatory to the iHalo Krunch ice cream shop in Lululemon, there is no space that a shop cannot occupy these days. But what is the appeal of these stores and their 15 minutes of fame? Like a tease, they stay long enough to entice you, and make an impression, before disappearing. Pop-up shops actually have a lot of potential and massive commercial appeal. But what exactly is the hype about? 

The Rise of the Pop-Up Store
The concept originally popped up as a solution to occupy unsold real estate and create seasonal retail opportunities. Whether it was for Christmas or Easter, a shop catering to the temporary phases of the year such as holidays, was a very practical way to use an otherwise empty space. However, in the last few years, the perception of pop-up shops has taken a dramatic turn.

Now, malls are reserving storefronts exclusively for pop-up spaces. “Demand has never been so great for pop-up space in Canada...landlords are seeing this as a strategy to build buzz, and retailers are utilizing it to further expand distribution and exposure,” shared Linda Farha the founder of website pop-up go.


However, the benefits don’t end there. Pop-up shops are experiential, allowing consumers to get to know and experience a brand personally. This is especially helpful for e-commerce stores that don’t have the same advantage as their brick and mortar competitors. For newcomers to a market space, pop-up stores can be the perfect cost-effective test to try out new strategies and concepts without committing permanently. For customers, pop-ups command a sense of urgency and exclusivity. There is only a small window where you can participate before the opportunity closes. FOMO or ‘fear of missing out’ is real and people don’t want to miss out on meaningful and exciting experiences. 

Pop-Up Shops that Caught Our Eye 
With pop-up shops changing the game, we have to mention a few that really left an impression on us. The IKEA Play Cafe shook things up last year in Toronto with a colourful and fun immersive experience. The space hosted a number of interactive activities complete with an over-sized game of pinball, a kitchen dance game and countless selfie opportunities with a 20-foot light wall. IKEA effectively attracted buzz integrating an engaging and playful experience into the consumer’s shopping experience.


We also can’t forget Magnum’s worldwide pop-ups, known as Magnum's Pleasure Store. Visitors have the opportunity to make their own personalized ice cream masterpieces with the choice of luxury toppings such as raspberries, pistachios, and even chili flakes and culinary rose petals. The choices and endless combinations are a hit for taste buds and Instagram posts alike as Magnum reminds consumers of their luxurious quality that sets them apart.


Celebrities like Kanye West and Gwyneth Paltrow are also jumping on the pop-up retail bandwagon. Drake opened his own temporary store Views, drawing long lines, where he gave away t-shirts to promote his new album "Views from the 6".

According to pop-up go’s website, “2018 is predicted to be the year of the pop-up, more organizations are more than ever leveraging the business boosting benefits of experiential marketing.” Do you agree? Their existence may be short-term, but the demand for pop-up shops is definitely not short lived. Don’t miss out on the next one!