Pop-up retailers will deliver £2.1bn to the UK economy this year

Published on: 22nd July 2014

More than 9,400 stores employing 23,400 now qualify for the pop-up designation, according to the study by EE, the digital communications business and CEBR, the economic consultancy.walking-feet300

Their report estimates the pop-up retail economy is likely to grow 8.4% over the next year, more than double the 3.4& projected for the high street. Growth could be considerably greater if high rate and rent costs, technology shortcomings and space problems were tackled, the report adds.

Consumers are also expected to make more frequent visits with the result that average spending is forecast to grow from £110 to £120 per shopper. EE has set a target of helping 3,000 pop-up shops with technology and advice over the next three years.

The group has joined forces with Appear Here, the online pop-up space marketplace, the British Retail Consortium and pop-up entrepreneurs to use the 15th anniversary of the US-born business culture to launch a campaign in the UK to encourage newcomers.

Mike Tomlinson, EE’s director of small business, says empty shops and changing consumer culture over the past decade have created a “booming pop-up retail economy”. Landlords are also more willing to consider short-term leases to fill empty spacesg.

Mr Tomlinson added: “Pop-up shops truly embody the entrepreneurial nature of the UK by combining these two factors to disrupt the retail market and bring a breath of fresh air into the high street.”

Ross Bailey, 22, chief executive of Appear Here, sees pop-ups playing an important role in high street changes: “Tomorrow’s high street will be about entertainment and experience and this is what pop-ups do better than traditional retailers.”

State landlords, such as Transport for London (TfL), are also getting involved. The Mayor’s transport body is to rent unused space across its property portfolio to pop-up shops.

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