Founder Ross Bailey told Event that the company has its sights set on a number of key locations. "Retail is all about getting in front of the best audiences, so we plan to be in all the major retail cities first, such as London, Paris and New York.
"Paris marks the first step in our international expansion, this will be followed by New York."
He explains that overseas expansion was always on the cards. "Our mission since day one has been to build a global network of the best retail spaces, so people can launch their ideas anywhere in the world."
On the decision to choose Paris as Appear Here’s first international location, Bailey says sheer demand for temporary retail space was the driving force. "Paris is one of the best retail cities in the world and the capital of fashion, but it faces similar challenges to London when it comes to renting space.
"I was surprised to learn how hard it is for young brands and designers to get access to flexible retail space. We've even had Parisian brands launch ideas with us in London because they couldn't [a space] in Paris. That’s when I realised Appear Here could really make a difference."
The state of temporary retailing
Bailey believes that the pop-up retail industry is in good health, with continued growth and expansion on the horizon. "I think we're going to see a big growth in the number of brands using temporary retail spaces. Everyone from big brands to small independents are building short-term retail into their long-term strategies."
He’s got the statistics to prove it, too – the company recently partnered with EE and CEBR to unearth some insights into industry growth. "It [the report] revealed that pop-up retail is now worth £2.3 billion to the UK economy, and that pop-ups now account for 0.76 per cent of total UK retail turnover – up from 0.6 per cent the year before.
"The report also found that the sector is growing much faster than predicted, caused by a rise in the number of customers and an increased average spend," says Bailey.
Bailey has noticed three trends in particular coming to the fore in the world of pop-up and temporary retail:
1. Online brands going offline – many digitally native brands are using Appear Here to launch their first physical retail experiences, such as Spotify, who opened a pop-up in Topshop over Christmas.
2. Brands using retail space as media space – we've seen an increase in brands using pop-up spaces as experimental marketing space. One recent example of this is a pop-up by The Liminal Space, who created a fictional beauty store called Timeless to raise awareness of social egg freezing.
3. Testing new markets – we're also seeing a lot of brands launching pop-ups in new markets, to test whether they're the right location for their brand. Both Kit and Ace and Lululemon have launched pop-ups before committing to long-term leases.
See inside Appear Here's Paris pop-up, which is open until Saturday (12 March) via our gallery.
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