Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mobile Pop-Ups

A few weeks ago I did a trend report on mobile pop-ups. These pop-ups are boutiques, churches, restaurants, art installations, and even cinemas on wheels. Pop-up food venues, while not a new trend, are changing from what they were just a few years ago.

We've always had a lunch truck stop by our building twice a day for at least two decades. It's part of our culture. Then just last week, Cafe2U, a new mobile coffee business, began stopping by as well. What a perfect concept! Yummy coffee drinks available for purchase in the morning or afternoon at my place of work. I just walk out the door, and there's Bob ready to make me a drink. Here's Chloe and Allee getting their caffeine fix. What's next, a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream truck in the summer? Maybe.

Here in Fresno we have our own Dusty Buns Bistro truck that cruises around serving gourmet sandwiches and bringing culture to our little city. It was so popular that two things happened: 1), It became a favorite eating destination for many people in the Tower District, and 2), it became controversial when traditional nearby restaurants complained that Dusty Buns was violating current parking rules and taking away customers. But that is another story.....

Is pop-up retail the new way to go? Here's some great reasons pop-ups work:
  • A pop-up can fill an empty retail space left ravaged by the adverse economy.
  • A pop-up is temporary and appeals to the short attention span of the consumer.
  • A mobile pop-up can attract a whole new consumer based on geography. The use of social media like Facebook and Twitter can be used to instantly alert consumers of the pop-ups whereabouts. Brilliant!
  • Because it is temporary, a pop-up creates a sense of uniqueness and urgency that encourages the consumer to impulse buy.
  • Pop-ups are a great way to test the market and to collect feedback before making a substantial commitment to a brick-and-mortar store.

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