Perspectives

From The Co-Founders

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Strategic insights and commentary from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts


How to Jump Start Your New "Rhythms of Retail"

As we noted last week, retailing is being affected by different patterns of seasonality. The old timing patterns for ordering, seasons, and events no longer apply. New "Rhythms of Retail" must be established by all retailers.

So it was with great interest that we read a blog post about Pop-Up Retail: Not Just for Start-Ups.*  It featured results from a recent study out of the UK suggesting that "the pop-up retail sector is growing at 12.3% per year. And the U.S. pop-up industry has grown to approximately $10 billion in sales."

The author of this post, Matthew Wagner, is the vice-president of revitalization programs for Main Street America, "a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development." 

He laments that pop-ups seem to have become associated only with new, emerging retail concepts. We agree with his contention that community development leaders should cultivate pop-up opportunities for all retailers. 

But, you don't need to wait for those folks. 

  • What street front space is being under-utilized in your community?
  • How quickly might you be able to set up a pop-up?
  • How many different concepts might you be able to showcase over the next few months?
  • Be a merchant; exercise your entrepreneurial instincts!

In fact, within your own stores you may have space for a pop-up opportunity! This could be for your own operation or another merchant nearby (who might also offer you space within their store.) 

We see it as a great opportunity to inject new vitality into existing spaces.

And studies confirm what merchants already know; the customers really love pop-ups. 

  • They are drawn to the "unique/exclusive products or experiences," 
  • enjoy the "curiosity/excitement/entertainment," 
  • respond to the opportunity to "support local/independent businesses."

All in all, a great way to test out your new "rhythms of retail." What are you waiting for? 

As Peter Drucker noted, "The best way to predict the future is to create it."

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* Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Pop-Up Retail: Not Just For Start-Ups, And Other Learnings From Its Evolution. February 11, 2021, Main Street America. 



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