take an empty retail space and allow brands to sell their wares/services in a regular mall environment. We’ve seen this before at the holidays, where an ornament store or a wrapping service takes over an empty storefront; after the holidays, they leave and the space is hopefully rented quickly. This has been called “pop-up retail” in the past.
But this idea is different. Their permanent storefront is always turning over new tenants. Have a new car you want to showcase? Rent the mall store for a few weeks. Have a new product line you’re launching? Rent the space. No long-term commitment. Create some buzz (driving traffic to the mall); reach a wider audience at the mall (and have them seek out more product info through other channels, which will hopefully lead to sales). Sounds promising.
In Glasgow, they’re trying something similar. Due to open this year at the Glasgow airport is “planeshop.” The company website describes planeshop as “a permanent shop with a flexible concept. Brands takeover planeshop for a limited time, so there will always be something exciting to see.”
Last week’s Los Angeles Business Journal highlighted a variation on this theme. The Glendale Galleria, a very popular shopping mall north of LA, between Pasadena and Burbank, is showcasing local talent. Called “Local Collection,” it’s a consignment shop for local designers who otherwise might not have any retail presence; the focus is on jewelry, apparel, and housewares. The hope is that if a designer does well, they might open a small shop in the mall (openings are readily available). Thirty designers were picked by mall management from among the 100+ applicants. The designers don’t pay rent, but split sales 50-50% with the mall. It turns out that the mall is earning very close to what it would have from a full-time tenant. In my view, it’s Etsy.com come to life.
These trends tap into a resurgence of interest in “local” – local designers, locally-grown produce, local places to meet friends and socialize. What’s your take on this? Do you see this as a trend that will last and will complement online retailing?