For many start-up’s and online only retailers, delving into the world of bricks and mortars in the long term is simply not an option due to both the constraints (financial, stock management, staffing) and risks involved. The pop-up route can help alleviate some of the aforementioned issues, and one type in particular, the shop share, can solve all of the above. A shop share connects small and independent retailers with a retail space that is set-up and ready to go. For landlords, sharing their space provides a new revenue stream, as well as bringing fresh custom into their space. Whilst for new retailers, the advantages include cheaper rent, established footfall and an existing customer base. With the thoughts of two brands who recently availed of the shared space option with POPertee, Daniel takes a closer look at the advantages of a shop share.
With city centre rents for short term retail now averaging anywhere between €2,000-€4,000 per week, and with no signs of this trend slowing down anytime soon, splitting the rent via a shop share is in many cases, the only option for smaller businesses. Our Temple Bar Retail Space, located in one of Dublin City’s busiest quarters, is available as a shared space option at a rate €450 per day. One of our most recent pop-ups to use the space was the Neon Art Label Bag&Bones. We recently caught up with the founder Gigi Foyle to ask her why herself and her sister decided to go down the pop-up route for their Xmas Pop-Up.
So Gigi, first off your pop-up looks amazing in those bright neon lights, well done to all involved! So tell me, why did you decide to go down the route of a shared space pop-up?
‘For small businesses, the option of having a shop is just not always possible due to high rents and rates. A pop-up however, gives you the benefit of getting your brand out there. Customers can see your wares and retailers get all the benefits of a shop without the unaffordable overheads. Plus the locations of pop-ups, in particular, our pop-up at The Library Project in Temple Bar, are just amazing!’
Shop shares can also a great way to find complementary brands which help amplify your offering. By doing so, it opens up your brand to a much wider audience. Bag&Bones used their pop-up in Temple Bar to shop share with two other small retailer’s; Young Hearts – an online department store for young families, and the Mini Post – An Irish kids apparel brand. We asked the girls how the shop share came about, and how it worked out for them?
So Gigi, how exactly did the idea of a shop share come about?
‘Well as we are a young London based retailer introducing our brand to the Irish market for the first time, we don’t have a lot of contacts in the Irish social media landscape, so in order to promote the pop-up far and wide we thought it would be a good idea to team up with some other brands who had a big following in the Irish market and would be happy to promote the pop-up.
We agreed that in exchange for letting them style the pop-up, they would promote the pop-up on their channels.On this occasion we didn’t ask them to contribute financially to the cost of the pop-up but that would be something that other brands could consider – it’s a way to make it work and make pop-ups a lot more accessible to smaller brands.’
How did you decide which type of brand would complement Bag&Bones, and how did you reach out to these brands?
One of the main channels we use to show Bag&Bones to the world is Instagram. As such, it was important that we worked with a brand with a large Irish Instagram following, who could open up our product to a new cohort of potential consumers. ‘On this occasion, we chose the brands purely on recommendation from others. We didn’t know the girls but we had friends who suggested that the Mini Post and YoungHearts might be a good fit for Bag&Bones. Both the brand and the girls behind YoungHearts & The MiniPost were a perfect fit for Bag&Bones and I think that the synergy created in this fantastic space between the brands worked perfectly!’
Fantastic, it sounds like things worked out really well! What do you think was the main ingredient to its success?
I think it’s pretty simple really – everyone wants to promote their brand so everyone is going to work hard to do that, and so it just has a multiplying effect. As long as everyone is on the same page and happy to promote and support each other than it works a treat!
Hard work pays by the sounds of things! Lastly, do you have any advice for other brands looking to do a shop share?
Plan Plan Plan!! Check out the space before hand and decide how it is going to work – who is going to go where. Give yourself lots of time…everything always takes longer than you expected and most importantly…enjoy it and have fun!
Right Location, Right Space
When it comes to launching a product, it goes without saying that location is key. For clothing brands, you might think about setting up in a fashion conscious area where the customer base has a need for you. Take Diffusion by Kate for example. Diffusion is a new Irish online ladies fashion retailer which launched this year. Kate, who previously ran the Diffusion retail store in Clontarf for 20 years, made the bold move earlier in the year to close shop and move her store completely online. Having made the transition, Kate now blurs the lines of retail by availing of pop-ups every 3-4 months to showcase her wares. Kate is well versed on her target market and where they frequent, and pop-ups provide her with the perfect medium to reach them, as well as attract a new cohort of fans in the neighbourhood. Her recent pop-up in Mark Nixon’s photography studio in Clontarf allowed her to connect with legacy customers and showcase her wears in a unique space with minimum set-up requirements. We recently caught up with Kate to ask her a few questions about her pop-up.
So Kate, first off your pop-up looks great, and in such a quirky location! Why exactly did you choose such a unique space?
The gallery is a great space. It’s clean, minimalistic and has great lighting, which really lends itself to our beautiful collections.
Cool, so how exactly has the pop-up worked out in terms of location?
‘It has worked very well, and we had this space in mind for a while as the Clontarf and north side community were very happy to see me back where Diffusion lived just up the road for over 20 years.’
Very good. Yes Difussion is quite a unique example I must say, given that you were a physical retailer for the best part of 20 years, and jumped ship into the world of purely online retail. Obviously pop-ups help bridge the gap in this regard, so is there any advice you can offer brands looking to do something similar for their pop-up?
Have a good team around you like any successful business. If you are collaborating with another retailer make sure it’s a good fit i.e. food and clothes may not be a good fit but interiors and clothing are a match made in heaven!
Build Networks & Increase Brand Awareness
In today’s always on, always connected world, shop shares provide the perfect platform to add something fresh to the mix and ensure that everyone is talking about your brand. By sharing a space with a complementary offering, not only do you get the opportunity to showcase your wares to a wider audience, it allows you to build a synergy and network with that brand and its loyal following. Unique events such as the pop-ups launch night allow you both to pool your resources together, send out the feelers, and create a memorable spectacle for all in attendance!
POPertee Shared Spaces
At POPertee we have a number of spaces which work well as a shop share. Below are a selection of our three most popular.
A cultural and retail space located in the heart of Temple Bar offering a specialised Art bookshop, a very active gallery and a modest yet mind-blowing photobook library. The space is used successfully for all sort of evening celebrations such as launches, presentations, and private PR events, both from companies and individuals.
Shared: €450 ex VAT per day
Entire Store: €600 ex VAT per day
Located in the heart of Dublin City, this space on Dame Lane is perfect for both large and small pop-up ventures, events and exhibitions, as well as suitable for shared store pop ups. It is in excellent condition and gives off a high-end look and feel which is added to by the mirrored internal walls. There is a public multi-story car park and an allocated car space for the unit.
Shared: €1,000 ex VAT per week
Entire Store: €2,000 ex VAT per week
The space has two office rooms to the rear with a yard. It is situated on the main street directly opposite the Town Hall/Dun Laoghaire VEC. The premises benefits from c. 6m frontage, skylight and is in ready walk in condition.
Shared: €425 ex VAT per week
Entire Store: €850 ex VAT per week