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Pop-up shops popular among aspiring entrepreneurs

Nigel Holland from Holland & Co
Photo: Nigel Holland

Almost a third of British start-ups will begin trading as pop-up businesses, research by EE has found.

A ‘pop-up’ shop is a temporary retail store or stall that is used to sell goods and services for a limited time period. Owners typically sell goods such as clothes, local produce, and food and drink to take advantage of a current or seasonal trend.

EE’s survey of more than 2,000 people reveals that 29% plan to start their own pop-up business. The model is seen as an ideal way to set up a business by 57% of respondents, while 39% said they were inspired by the success of pop-ups.

The most popular types of pop-up among survey respondents were:

  • food (30%)
  • drink (18%)
  • art and crafts (15%)
  • fashion (12%)
  • jewellery (11%).

The research also identified the challenges faced by would-be pop-up owners. A third (32%) worry that they don’t have access to the required technology to set up their business, while others are concerned that they won’t be able to find the space to set up their shop.

The research builds on last year’s report by EE and the Centre for Economic and Business Research which found that pop-up retailers made £2.1 billion in turnover in 2013/14. There were 9,400 pop-up shops across the UK employing around 23,400 workers.

Nigel Holland from Holland & Co Chartered Accountants said:

“There are lots of new businesses which are being set up at the moment and at my firm we are noticing a very interesting trend used by new start-ups. This trend involves the use of pop-up shops.

Pop up shops can be used by both new and established businesses. It is an excellent way to test out a new location and also to test out a new product. Not all these pop up shops will be successful and the reasons why they fail could be long and varied, however if a pop up shop does fail the cost which has been incurred by the business is often a lot lower than the costs which would otherwise be incurred with other forms of business start-ups.”

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