Pop-up shops a common choice as millions aspire to start up

Some 11.6 million people plan to start their own business within the next two years. Some of these will utilise pop-up shops to begin their entrepreneurial journey.

Almost a third (29 per cent) of these British businesses will start life as a pop-up, according to a study by EE.

Pop-up successes are becoming increasingly commonplace, and pop-ups are growing into larger businesses that operate as both a bricks and mortar retailer and a pop-up, EE says.

In addition, well-established online-only businesses are increasingly looking at pop-up shops as a viable way in which to connect with their customers in the physical world, adds the organisation, citing recent high-profile examples as Amazon and Google.

The Pop-up Retail Economy report

The CEBR and EE’s Pop-up Retail Economy report last year found that pop-up retail contributes £2.1 billion to the UK economy. Ahead of the next annual report, the new research from EE has also revealed that more than half of people (57 per cent) believe a pop-up is a great way to start a business, and more than 39 per cent of people are inspired by the success of pop-ups.

However, challenges still exist. Almost a third (32 per cent) said they worry about not having the right technology to realise their ideas, and that they worry about not being able to find and manage the right space for their shop.

The latest research also reveals the most popular types of pop-up that people in the UK would like to start, with food leading the way at 30 per cent, drink at 18 per cent, and art and crafts at 12 per cent.

Fashion (12 per cent) and jewellery and accessories (11 per cent) are also popular options.

See also: The essential guide to setting up a pop-up shop in the UK

Mike Tomlinson, director of small business at EE says, ‘This research shows that Britain is now a nation of aspiring business owners. Whether you’re starting your first business on your own or you’re an established company testing out a new location or product, pop-ups have become a tried and tested business strategy.’ 

Further reading on starting a business

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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