Friday, April 15, 2011

Pop Up Stores Storm Cleveland: Great Story on Freshwater

The headline is a bit exaggerated, but it looks like the pop up movement may be making a significant impact on Cleveland's retail scene.

Hopefully this recession is making people rethink many of the stereotypes that underlie our economic thinking.

Old School

That the world doesn't change.
That long leases are always a safe bet
That only big chains make good tenants
That only a small percent of the population is economically valuable
That only a small number of big companies are economically valuable
That landlords and experts can tell who they are
Only big budget, formal advertising works
There's no harm in leaving a place empty till the right big tenant comes along

New School

Landlords and retailers must adapt to change
Almost all people are of potential value
You can't guess the next big idea
Small companies and individuals can be of great value
Social media is very important
Empty spaces are very damaging and discouraging

"Cities across the U.S. are using pop-up stores as a transitional strategy in a weak market," explains Schwarz. "But in places like Cleveland, they may need to be part of our permanent toolkit." (Actually they are and should be part of any cities toolkit--comment mine)

While the shop itself is fleeting, the positive effects of a successful event can extend well after that final sale, organizers say. Often, these short-term shops are just what's needed to help young startups flourish and grow. "There's a multiplier effect," says Okey. "People grab your business card, and vendors find they get a flood of orders through their websites after the event."

DeBoe cites as an example Made in the 216 vendor Small Screen Designs, which enjoyed sales growth following pop-up venues across town. "They became known through pop-ups," notes DeBoe. "And now they're selling their work in other states."

As the story says, Pop Ups mostly work in places that already have decent retail traffic potential.

A very well done piece---Kudos.

Some upcoming Cleveland area Pop ups and short term projects.

Pop Up Pearl

Collective Upcycle

Cleveland Furniture Fair

Bazaar Bizarre

Made in the 216

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