Pop-up shops now worth £2.3bn to UK economy

Lines between pop-ups and traditional retail businesses are "blurring" with over 10,000 pop-up stores launched in Britain since 2014

Britain’s pop-up retail sector now generates £2.3bn for the UK economy, a report published today by EE and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has claimed.

The report-Britain’s Pop Up Retail Economy-found that approximately 10,000 pop-up shops launched in the last year, with 44% of consumers having visited a pop-up shop in this time.

The sector is said to have grown at a rate of 12.3% and now employs over 26,000 people with growth said to reflect “revival of the nation’s high streets”.

EE also indicated that the lines between pop-up shops and traditional retail business are blurring, as pop-ups begin setting up permanent outlets and traditional retailers move into the pop-up space.

Despite this growth of the pop-up industry, the report claims that technology is holding retailers backed with 40% unable to take card payments and 25% having lost sales due to lack of sufficient stock management systems.

Rob Harbron, managing economist for Cebr, said: “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.”

To coincide with the report, EE has launched Connected Retail bundles for retailers which includes 4G tablets, the Shopwave point of sale (POS) app, and contactless iZettle payment devices.

EE director of small business, Mike Tomlinson, commented:

“With Connected Retail from EE, we’re providing 4G connected products designed specifically to help temporary and permanent retailers be even more flexible and productive – getting them online quickly, and helping them to engage with customers via social media, take payments, and manage inventory.”

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