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Topshop unveils Sydney pop-up shop: Three retail lessons

Monday, 26 November 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

British fashion chain Topshop is the latest retailer to tap into the pop-up shop craze, opening a pop-up shop in its new Sydney store, highlighting some key sales strategies for retail start-ups.


On the weekend, Topshop launched a three-week pop-up project at its new Sydney store, which opened in early October.


Housed in the heritage-listed Gowings building on George Street, the store is spread across four floors, totalling more than 1,800 square metres.


Keen to keep up with the latest trends – in fashion or otherwise – the store will play host to three local businesses over the next three weeks.


Here are three things you can learn from Topshop’s pop-up shop.


1. Build up awareness first


Many pop-up shops open as a preview or teaser of what’s to come from a new brand, creating intrigue and a certain level of mystery.


Topshop, however, has gone the other way, building up a strong following by opening two well-placed flagship stores in Sydney and Melbourne.


It’s only now – after a year in the Australian market – Topshop has begun to experiment with retail strategies, one of which is the pop-up shop.


2. Play host


Most retailers who launch pop-up shops display a selection, or special collection, of their wares.


But Topshop’s pop-up shop doesn’t feature Topshop-branded items. On the contrary, it seeks to promote the products and services of other businesses. In essence, Topshop is playing host.


This may seem like a strange move. But Topshop has chosen businesses that complement its offering rather than compete with it, as a way of attracting even more people into its store.


3. Make me a deal


Topshop has not only made a point of partnering with local businesses, it has also promised some impressive deals as a result of these partnerships.


On November 24-25, the store played host to People Hairdressing, a hair and beauty salon based in Surry Hills.


As part of this promotion, Topshop offered complementary, in-store nail art designs to customers who spent more than $85.


On the weekend of December 1-2, customers who splash out this amount will be treated to a gift from “The Sisters” at Engadine Florist.


Then on December 8-9, celebrity chef Adriano Zumbo looks set to draw a crowd with some British-inspired macaroons for customers who, again, spend more than $85.