Joshua Roberts

Creative Director

December 18, 2013

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Flash Retailing In Asia

Flash retailing, or pop-up retail, is a trend of opening short-term retail spaces.

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A pop-up retail space is a venue that is temporary — the space could be a sample sale one day and host a private cocktail party the next evening. The trend involves “popping-up” one day, then disappearing anywhere from one day to several weeks later.

These shops, while small and temporary, can build up interest by consumer exposure. Pop-up retail allows a company to create a unique environment that engages their customers, as well as generates a feeling of relevance and interactivity.

They are often used by marketers for seasonal items such as Halloween costumes and decorations, Christmas gifts and Christmas trees, or fireworks.

Siam Piwat, the operator of Siam Center in Bangkok, is offering a pop-up store zone to let customers shop and eat in the same area.

Costing 10 million baht, the zone, Another Alternative, is on the first floor of Siam Center and features food and drinks, furniture, fashion and accessories.

In addition, Monocle, a British fashion and lifestyle magazine with a store chain of the same name, is opening a seasonal shop in the zone for the first time in Asia. The shop makes its debut today and will close in February.

Another Alternative’s Issue Cafe, which calls itself a fashion bar, lets diners enjoy food while staying current with fashion trends. The cafe also carries Issue home-decor items and clothing for dogs.

Parisa Chatnilbandhu, Siam Piwat’s vice-president for retail business development, said several other brands including Japan’s Emoi will unveil pop-up stores for the first time in Thailand.

“We created Another Alternative to cope with fast-moving global trends and the varied urban lifestyle,” she said. “We want customers to have a new shopping experience.” Another Alternative will provide its services until May, with sales over the six-month period forecast at 30 million baht.

The zone is also working with the British designer Giles Deacon to introduce limited-edition Happy Socks.

Proceeds from the collection will go to the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Ms. Parisa expressed confidence that the pop-up approach will reinforce the status of Siam Center as a trend-setter for new ideas.

Another Alternative is the third pop-up store zone under Siam Piwat after The Selected, a multibrand store for lifestyle products from Thai designers, and The Wonder Room, which offers Thai fashion designs for women.

Our Thoughts

It’s interesting to see this trend make it to Asia. Perhaps pop-up retailing will find its place in the retail market. The concept and idea is pretty cool: limited time offer, everything must go, hurry and buy.

By the mere fact that flash retailing has a short time attached to it, it automatically creates the urgency necessary to push consumers into action. This could be a useful tool some retailers can use to generate buzz.

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