Pop-up shops set to boost UK economy by £2.1bn as retail revolution gathers pace

Study finds short-term retail the fastest growing sector in UK

Pop-up shops are set to contribute £2.1bn to the UK economy this year, with the sector as a whole the fastest-growing in the UK, according to a new report.

A study conducted by telecoms business EE in conjunction with economic consultancy CEBR found that more than 9,400 stores across the UK now qualify for the pop-up designation, employing around 23,400 staff.

Released to coincide with the launch of a new campaign spearheaded by pop-up shop marketplace Appear Here, EE’s study predicted the pop-up sector is set to grow by 8.4% over the next year, more than double the 3.4% predicted for traditional high-street retail.

Average spending by consumers in pop-up shops is also set for a corresponding rise, increasing from £110 to £120 per shopper.

Despite the promising figures, the report’s authors said the growth could be even higher, with the lack of flexible short-term contracts, the availability of space and high business rates and rents all cited as barriers to double-digit growth.

EE said the current boom in pop-up shops was due to the increasing number of empty shops in the UK and changes in consumer appetite.

Richard Lim, head of business information at the British Retail Consortium, said: “These figures demonstrate the important role pop-up retail is playing in the UK economy, but we’re only at the beginning of this pop-up revolution.

“The novel use of these temporary spaces showcases the innovative nature of UK retail which continues to adapt to consumer demands and structural changes occurring throughout the industry.  This campaign is seeking to do the much-needed job of removing the barriers that are holding pop-ups backs from their true potential.”

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