How much is the pop-up industry worth? » SMEInsider

How much is the pop-up industry worth?

Pop-up shops have become a billion pound industry in the United Kingdom, with a new report estimating that the sector is now worth a staggering £2.3bn, employing close to 30,000 people.

Britain’s Pop-Up Retail Economy, the second annual report into the pop-up sector from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has found that the sector employs over 26,000 people. The report was commissioned by mobile phone giant EE.

The report uncovered a wealth of information regarding the UK’s micro-stores, revealing that pop-ups now account for 0.76 per cent of total UK retail turnover, up from 0.6 per cent the year before, an increase of more than £200 million in sales.

Cebr also found that:

  • The sector is growing much faster than predicted, with 12.3 per cent more revenue this year versus 8.4 per cent last year, caused by a rise in the number of customers and an increased average spend.
  • 44 per cent of respondents have visited a pop-up in the past year, and they’re spending £8 per month more than they previously were at an annual total of £124 per person.
  • Britain is now host to more than an estimated 10,000 pop-ups.
  • The lines between pop-ups and traditional retail are increasingly blurred, as well-established retailers and online-only brands are using pop-ups to test and expand into new locations and product lines.
  • 8 per cent of retailers report having launched a pop-up sometime in the past year, while ten per cent plan to open one in the next five years.

Despite overwhelming success, the report highlighted the challenges that pop-ups face, one being obtaining a reliable internet connection, a crucial factor for accepting digital and contactless payments.

With many retailers coming to terms with the digital age, a surprising 40 per cent of small retailers and food and accommodation providers say they are unable to process card payments.

Rob Harbron, managing economist for Cebr, commented on the report:

‘‘Pop-up retail is continuing to become an increasingly viable platform for both people with new business ideas and for established businesses looking to engage with customers in new and innovative ways.’’

‘‘Successful retailers increasingly need to offer customers the ability to shop when and where they want. As such, the flexibility of pop-up stores makes the format increasingly attractive. However, without appropriate investment in technology, efficiently co-ordinating a range of platforms is becoming increasingly challenging for businesses.’’