Encore January 2015

Page 10

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Poppin’ Up All Over

Pop-up shops are hitting their stride The

10 | Encore JANUARY 2015

Historic images of Kalamazoo adorn the lids of the handmade candles of the Kalamazoo Candle Co.

Brewery for the past two years, says Satellite manager Sean Hartman. “Having a lot of community involvement is really important to us,” he says. “We like to reach outside our store, reach new people and affect the community around us.”

Brian Powers

Brian Powers

underlying concept of a “pop-up shop” isn’t new. We’ve seen these temporary, transportable and small-scale retail hubs appear as kiosks in malls and Halloween costume or Christmas-themed stores that are in a retail space for just a few months at a time. In the past five years, though, more small businesses have been popping up stands and kiosks inside the retail spaces of other small businesses or temporarily taking over vacant storefronts. Pop-up shops have exploded into a full-blown trend, growing 16 percent annually since 2009 and expected to generate $80 billion annually, according to a 2014 Fortune report. What’s pushing this boom? Turns out, even though online retail accounts for $259 billion in yearly sales in the U.S., a lot of people still prefer to shop in person. According to a February 2014 study by the financial innovation research center Accenture, 78 percent of online shoppers are just “webrooming,” or researching an item online before going into a local store to buy it. “For many shoppers, not being able to try on a product before purchasing can be a very real pain point,” says technology blogger Humayun Khan in an article on the Spotify blog. “There’s just something about being able to touch before you buy.” For bigger retail chains, popping up is more about generating a new revenue stream, connecting to customers and offering a physical exchange and product return spot. For small businesses, though, popping up is about cooperative retail, face-to-face ownerto-customer interaction and low overhead. In Kalamazoo, small businesses are popping up in temporary retail spaces on short-term leases and also in the spaces of other local businesses. Satellite Records, which has a physical location at 808 S. Westnedge Ave., has been popping up in venues like Bell’s

Above, Kristi Tyler stands outside her pop-up shop Tulips, at 2030 Parkview Ave. Opposite page: Tyler arranges merchandise in her temporary storefront.

Satellite Records doesn’t pop up solely to sell but also to help promote events, says Hartman. It’ll be popping up at Bell’s on Jan. 3,

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