PopUp shops aren’t just elite marketing stunts put on by company with endless advertising budgets; they are a simple opportunity for you, yes even you, small business owner, to try something new, to experiment with a partnership, or to test a new market. I’ve been wanting to talk with you about this because the options are as limitless and creative as you can imagine.

Let’s look at this in two parts.
Part one will include a real world example and an interview.
Part two will include a litany of ideas for your own popup shop.


Photo owned and all rights reserved by Little Scandinavian

Bianca, at Little Scandinavian, was so kind to share her experience with a popup shop she hosted with Yellow Lolly back in April.

Here’s how Bianca says they developed their idea:
Running a blog, I do get to take part in different promotional events. But as I write about all things Scandinavian I really wanted to, for a limited time only, see all thing Scandinavian in a proper shop. Several Scandinavian labels for childrenswear are still not available in shops around the UK, only online. Yellow Lolly had done pop-up-shops in the past, but in a smaller scale, with the experience that it definitely boosts the sale. And we both agreed on that it’s also a great promotional event for both the shop and blog.

Those are key elements in developing a popup shop idea. Is there a market for your product or idea? Popup shops are a great way to find out. Remember, to get the most out of our your popup shop you need longterm branding connections- but we will talk about that in part 2. Back to Bianca…

Here’s how they went about setting up the shop:
We had, in collaboration with online shop Yellow Lolly, a pop-up-shop selling Scandinavian childrenswear. We had several meeting planning the event, finding the right location being the most challenging part. Then Claire from Yellow Lolly managed to get hold of a prime location in trendy Islington, an empty showroom with large windows facing the busy shopping street outside. All through existing connections. Then I turned to sponsors and connection of the blog to see if they wanted to take part as sponsors of the event. The response were really positive and it allowed us to serve gorgeous finger food and hand out desirable gift bags to all customers on the day.
We turned the empty showroom into a fun and colourful Nordic pop-up-shop. We were really pleased with the result and a lot of the customers thought it was a proper shop and that we were there to stay. We wanted to create an experience, not only a temporary shop. It ended up being a highly conseptual shop, with a energetic atmosphere -like a shopping party!

Photo owned and all rights reserved by Little Scandinavian

Don’t you just love that!! A shopping party. That’s the key, folks. This isn’t about making fast cash. It’s about loving your customers, building your brand, and showcasing fantastic products. As you are considering your own ideas, which we will touch more on in part 2, think about partnership!!

Bianca shares how they got the word out:
We kept it simple, dividing the tasks between us. We handed out leaflets in the area a week in advance. My responsibility was spreading the word and keeping the buzz up on Social Media. We met up with people from leading children’s wear magazine to local community organisations, and they all helped spreading the word. We started setting up the day before and on our opening day, we had customers wanting to get in as soon as we arrived. Islington is a really trendy place to live for families, so lots of pushchairs being pushed in and out of our shop during the day. This in addition to all the people that had been invited through various of channels. We had customers all day, even after closing time.

Photo owned and all rights reserved by Little Scandinavian

And what did they take away from the experience:
It was a great success in all ways; sales, market research pr and more. The shop clearly added a new concept to the area that was very well received. The only negative part was actually taking the shop down. Hen sight we agreed that we should have had it open for a few more days, as there were customers alerting friends and family to let them know about us that wanted to come the following day.
Islington is definitely the place to be for a pop-up-shop, although I’m sure other parts of London could be equally exciting to try out. Claire from Yellow Lolly had the retail knowledge and run the shop in very professional way, so in other words and excellent pop-up-shop partner. As for me, I can’t wait planning my next pop-up-shop.

Have you done a popup shop? I’d love to hear about it! If not, tune in to Part 2 for ideas!