3 x Need-to-know things about pop-up stores in China

We, as an industry, talk a lot about the ‘experience generation’. With statistics revealing 72% of millennials plan to increase their spending with brands that provide them with a lasting impression, it’s no wonder luxury brands are using pop-ups as a way to impress and connect with their consumers.

Pop-up retailing is experiencing explosive growth in China. For luxury brands who are still observing the phenomenon, here are three need-to-know things about pop-up stores in the region.

1.Testing The Waters

There are all kinds of pop-up stores: some for sales, some for brand awareness, and some for gaining market insights.

For those who are interested in direct sales, China’s laws and regulations require brands to have a corporate presence in China in order to conduct sales directly. However, for those brands who don’t have the right to conduct sales in China, they can still set up a temporary store just for the sake of outreach to Chinese consumers by letting them experience products. If brands can successfully entice consumers with their samples, they can direct consumers to place orders on their websites. 

For brands who are not yet sure about China’s market, it’s a low investment way to test the waters. Pop-up stores are temporary, but they create a long-term, lasting impression with potential customers.

And for brands who already have a prominent presence in Asia, it’s still a good way to create new-news, showcase new releases and engage with consumers beyond the constraints of the shop floor. Some brands, such as luxury fashion house Fendi, are combining the two – creating pop-ups directly outside their permeant storefronts, doubling the draw.  

2.    Location, Location, Location

Unlike the US and UK, where pop-up stores are more often than not found on the street, pop-up stores in China are mostly set up in shopping malls, due to strict regulations.

Nonetheless, these locations might actually give brands an edge. Shopping malls have a huge amount of foot traffic, attract the right demographics, and offer more convenient setups as amenities are already in place. In addition, China has plenty of shopping malls — increasing at the rate of 600 to 700 new malls each year. It’s predicted that by 2020, there could be as many as 10,000 shopping malls in China alone.

Miu Miu have toured their mall-based pop-ups around Asia, hitting Seoul, Singapore and numerous cities in China with their product launches, complete with gif booths and the all important photo opportunity, which leads nicely on to our third consideration. 

3.    Make Sure It’s On Social Media

Chanel created the ‘Game Centre’ in Tokyo following the success of the Coco Café which toured Asia in 2017. The space was a 360 playground for fans of the brand, and for social media - conveniently branded and loaded with product at every viewpoint. 

Having consumers take pictures, share their location and tag the brand is a must. Consumers want to demonstrate online that they have been to cool places. So, when thinking about your pop-up vision, make sure to think WeChat Moments first.  

SEEN is compiled by LOVE’s Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge then get in touch kattowers@lovecreative.com