AS PARADOXICAL as it may seem, closing down in order to stay in business is fast becoming a popular business strategy. Temporary trading is no longer the preserve of liquidators or seasonal shops; the day-glo signs and megaphoned rouser that once seemed to epitomise such shops have scarpered. Appearing in unexpected locations for indefinite amounts of time and with no ridiculous overheads, the reinvention of the vacant units in our recession-battered shopping centres is boosting the economy and diminishing the power of ruthless landlords. To open and close in the blink of an eye is the key to success in our high-speed, short attention-spanned and fad-driven society.
Retailers from Gucci to GAP are using the concept to create a sense of exclusivity. In March Gucci opened its London IconTemporary pop-up shop, dedicated to their exclusive, limited-edition range of trainers. IconTemporary will pop-up in different cities, making its way across the globe. ‘Limited-Edition’ hype is well tried and tested.
Generating a buzz and instilling people with a sense of haste and ‘get it while you can’ urgency is something we are all too familiar with; the psychology of sales shopping takes over and your spending spirals out of control! But when you add to that the pop-ups’ novelty factor, even a bargain-indifferent shopper can come unstuck! If the idea of a capricious, chameleon-like high street in the wake of the recession and our corporate cloned high streets fails to enthuse even the most despondent consumer, I’ll eat my limited-availability hat.