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Taco with Sunglasses

The Story of a Taco and Big Business

By Ellen Fruchtman, President

Falling under the category “now I’ve seen everything”, Taco Bell has created an “experience’ for their fans in the form of a pop-up hotel. Transforming a Palm Springs hotel, the Taco Bell hotel features a limited amount of rooms for a limited time in August – all inspired by, yes, you got it, Taco Bell. Apparently, it’s the first of many to come.

As brands are looking for ways to cement their relationships with consumers, pop-up retail venues have become extremely popular and the go-to marketing strategy over the last few years. The flexibility of a pop-up store provides an opportunity for enthusiasts to experience the brand in locations the brand typically doesn’t have a location or experience specific promotions and products a brand may want to offer for a limited time. Pop-ups have become so popular, according to PopUp Republic, it’s grown to over $10 billion in sales.

Like the food truck craze, pop-up stores can be anything from a stand-alone kiosk to an actual brick and mortar store, to a store within a store. A jewelry shop-in-shop to some degree could be considered a pop-up location – if it was only available for a limited time.

According to PopUp Republic, 61% of shoppers list seasonal products as the primary reason to shop at a pop-up store. Consumers can’t get enough of “limited” items or products that may be here today and gone tomorrow. Pop up-stores are really nothing new. You know the kiosks in the malls you’ve seen every holiday season for well over 20 years? Today, those are considered the “new” pop-up shops.

Pop-up shoppers are looking for:

• Unique services/products (39%);
• Localized assortments (36%);
• Optimal pricing (34%);
• Convenience (33%); and
• A fun experience (30%).

Many national retailers are investing in this model including Best Buy, Nordstrom, Macy’s and J. Crew. And, digital giants like Amazon and Alibaba are creating pop-up shops all over the world leveraging their online model with the brick and mortar model. Many non-competing stores have created partnerships with some of these retailers and have created a limited shop-in-shop experience. What does it do? It broadens the appeal to existing customers and allows the retailer to experiment with new product.

So how can a local jeweler or designer get in the game?

Talk to a designer who you’ve been “thinking” about carrying. Consider setting up a temporary pop-up store featuring that designer (or a few) for a month or so. Conversely, if you’re a designer and are looking to get into a few retailers, contact them with this idea. It’s research well spent. Creating the actual pop up shop does not need to be an expensive endeavor. However, if you see the value in this proposition, talk to someone who might be able to create a temporary structure that can easily be changed within your store to reflect the brands you are looking to partner with.

Consider a pop-up shop that features other product other than jewelry. Is there a high-end clothing boutique or brand you want to partner with (locally or nationally); a makeup brand you want to approach? Other categories to consider can be fine wines, travel products or giftware. Remember, this is temporary. Think of products your customers would find interesting and a reason they would want to stop back to your store. Better yet, visit your store for the first time.

Reverse the situation. Perhaps you create a pop-up shop within another business locally. If it’s a high-end fashion boutique, maybe you feature a special designer there? We have a Ritz Carlton not far from my home. It’s a big affluent family vacation spot. A pop-up shop for a week or two during the holidays would probably be very successful. The possibilities are endless!

Pop-up shops top the retail trend list for 2019 and will most likely go beyond. It’s a way to generate excitement and a sense of urgency. But, most importantly, it’s a way to test the market, increase foot traffic or provide an income resource you may not have thought of. It’s not just for the big boys. You can reap the same benefits within your own business.

The Taco Bell Hotel opened August 8 with a four-day limited stay. Within two minutes of opening the reservation desk, it was sold out! Who would have thought? Certainly not me. But, that’s the point. Today, it’s all about the unimaginable and out-of-the-box thinking. Remember their famous advertising slogan, Think Outside the Bun? I guess they did.

Read more about The Taco Bell Hotel at https://www.palmspringslife.com/taco-bell-hotel/ and https://people.com/food/taco-bell-hotel-palm-springs-sold-out-2-minutes/

Looking for some other out-of-the-box ideas? We do that! Contact suits@fruchtman.com.

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