We are nearing Halloween – and with Halloween comes innumerable pop-up shops. Every street corner and strip mall seem to have a Halloween pop-up and then, in the blink of an eye, they are gone just as quickly as they came. This trend began in the 1980s and has become popular for various reasons.
Two of the biggest contenders in this industry are Spirit Halloween and Ricky’s NYC. Ricky’s, an already popular cosmetics store, takes over New York City in October. Opening seasonal pop-ups allows them to avoid cluttering their current stores, as well as getting a feel for potential new customers and possible future locations. Opening tons of shops temporarily allows for broader customer acquisition and growth. Ricky’s will use the popularity of certain stores and locations of their Halloween stores when making decisions about looking for a new year-round location.
Spirit Halloween takes a slightly different approach. They may not open as many stores, nor do they have year-round brick and mortar stores. Spirit Halloween is strategic about their seasonal stores, choosing locations that are highly visible. Their stores are big and noticeable. They are able to afford prime locations because they rent for such a short window of time. Both of these businesses are acutely aware of the current trends in costumes and fashion as well.
Every year there is one costume that everyone is wearing and this year we are willing to bet it will be Wonder Woman®. Stocking up on both the hot costume and its associated accessories is necessary to have a successful Halloween pop-up. Brick and mortar retailers can use some of these tactics in their stores both seasonally and year round.
Retail stores can take a page from the book of pop-up shops. If possible, retailers can open their own pop-up stores in desired locales in order to gain more customers as well as knowledge about potential expansion into a new area. If a retailer is thinking of expanding, they can open up a couple of pop-ups to feel out certain areas and grow their following at the same time. If opening up another location, even temporarily, is out of the picture, then retailers can create a pop-up store within their store. Retailers must make sure they know the trends and are stocked with Halloween supplies before transforming a section of their store into Halloween central. Pop-ups do not always have to happen around Halloween: a store can create their own event with temporary displays and features for limited times throughout the year. Retailers can also go beyond their walls and become immersed in their community by participating in markets and fairs. By venturing beyond the walls of their traditional store and into the community, retailers are gaining new customers and getting a feel for potential expansion of their business.
Halloween stores are successful for many reasons. Retailers can learn from them and create their own form of seasonal pop-ups by temporarily renting out new space or converting an area within their store. No matter the type of store, any retailer can take the idea of Halloween pop-ups and turn it into a year round activity.