How to Pop-Up: Making experience part of your retail offering

How to Pop-Up: Making experience part of your retail offering

For emerging brands, and retailers that have an online presence only, the concept of running an actual ‘bricks and mortar’ store can be daunting. Pop-up stores present a unique and creative opportunity to test location and new products, and give you a taster of who your customers could be, before committing to a lengthy lease.

Janine Dewey opened her first store in 2005, and with over a decade of experience as an independent fashion retailer, now runs her store as a pop-up store for 8-9 months of the year. Janine’s passion for the fashion industry and commitment to her business, together with the support of her husband and a loyal team, has contributed to success of this unique business model.

O’Keefe Fashion is a unique fashion destination in Surrey with prestigious awards including Drapers Fashion Awards Finalist in 2012, Drapers Footwear & Accessories Finalist in 2013, and being voted 14th in Vogue’s top 100 stores outside London.

Janine explained that communication was a key aspect to the success of this business model, by ensuring her customers and the brands she collaborates with, are informed about the store’s seasonal operations. Janine utilises the additional quarter of the year to source new collections and new brands to keep things fresh for her customers. Her blog keeps customers engaged and inspired through photographs and experiences from her overseas trips.

By altering the way she does business, Janine’s decision to operate O’Keefe Fashion as a pop-up has paid off, with a loyal customer base who return not just for the great clothes, but for the personal service which includes genuine advice, special orders, home delivery and urgent alterations.

During the months she is not there, Janine leases out the store, enabling emerging brands and retailers across different industries to benefit from a unique experience to test new products and a new location.

So renting short-term retail space doesn’t have to be daunting, and there are plenty of opportunities across the country to seek out a pop-up location.

We caught up with Janine with a quick fire round of questions relating to fashion and retail.

  1. Who is your fashion icon? Diane Keaton (Annie Hall and still actually). Diane_Keaton_2012-1.jpg

  2. Favourite trend or era? NOW…..I love the mash up, a new approach to fashion this season, mixing prints and colours…Be bold.

  3. What are your Spring/Summer wardrobe essentials? Linen is my go to favourite summer fabric. We are carrying our own premium linen collection this summer and almost sold out already.

  4. Who, or what do you follow on social media? A mixture of fashion, interior design, food and my gorgeous mates….my best inspiration.

  5. Favourite fashion magazine, blog +/or website? Always VOGUE magazine.

  6. Who is your customer? My customers are a real cross section of ages and sizes, and they love the eclectic brand mix we carry.

  7. What do they love about you and your store? My customers love that we are very much a lifestyle store and focus on unique bohemian inspired day and evening wear. Our own brand cashmere and linen dress collection is proving to be very popular this season as it is totally exclusive to our store. IMG_4641.JPG

  8. What’s on the playlist in store today? Guilty Secret…HARRY STYLES…..we LOVE his new single.

  9. How do you and your team create a better shopping experience for your customer? Laughter, fun, sincerity and time…the collections look after themselves then.

  10. Most desired piece instore? Suzy D lounge pants. We sell about 300 pairs a season!

  11. Best piece of advice? Care about your customers.

  12. Most important form of support or advice when running your own business? Family first, and honest feedback from customers.

  13. Biggest day of sales? £9,000….Woohoo!!

  14. This month’s activity to drive customers in store? Introducing our own label, it’s been a huge success.

  15. One goal for 2017 Expanding our own label.

  16. Onechallenge for 2017 Beating previous year’s turnover.

  17. Thoughts on the future of retailing? Review your seasonal brand mix sell through, introduce new brands and improve marketing. IMG_3299.JPG