Pop-up retail contributes £2.3bn to the UK economy, EE reports

Telecoms brand EE has reported that UK pop-up retailing is now valued at £2.3bn, and it is increasing at a much faster rate than first predicted.

Boxpark in London's Shoreditch provides space for pop-ups (iStock)
Boxpark in London's Shoreditch provides space for pop-ups (iStock)

EE found that the sector is growing at a rate of 12.3%, compared to the 8.4% of 2014, in its second annual report dubbed Britain’s Pop-Up Retail Economy conducted with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr)

It attributed this to a rise in the number of visitors to pop-ups and an increased average spend. The research reported that 44% of respondents have visited a pop-up in the past year, spending £8 more a month than they were last year.

It also stated that Britain is now hosting more than 10,000 pop-ups, which employ approximately 26,000. In addition, 10% of retailers plan to open a temporary experience in the next five years.

The main challenges now faced by pop-up entrepreneurs include unreliable internet connections, processing card payments, stock management and real-time promotion via social media channels.

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."

Mike Tomlinson, director of small business at EE, added: "The pop-up sector is rapidly evolving, with pop-up shops now contributing £2.3bn to the economy every year. The sector’s growth is driven by retailers and brands of all sizes using pop-ups to create new experiences, products, and locations for their customers."

You can read the findings from the 2014 report here.

More: EE creates 'Charging Bull' for Glastonbury

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