Why Hong Kong Shoppers are Going Nutty for Pop Up Shops


Pop up shops have been in Ireland for decades at this point and we love them. From the zaniest Cadbury Crème Egg Café to the most refined STABLE of Ireland store, retail throughout the country has become far more exciting for consumers and incredibly lucrative for entrepreneurs. We’ve also seen the trend take off in the UK and in the US, but interestingly, Asia has been remarkably quiet. Hong Kong, in particular, has been struggling quite a bit, with retail sales dropping continuously for the past 16 months straight. It looks like all that’s about to change, now that Hong Kong has discovered effective marketing with pop up shops.

The HK Pop Up Shop Trend; One Part Nutty, One Part Brilliance

Throughout Hong Kong, retail has been sluggish, but the one area that has remained fairly solid is the malls. In fact, despite rent reductions elsewhere, that correspond with the lower sales, Hong Kong malls recently started hiking their rents for tenants. A lot of smaller retailers have been testing out pop up shops as a means to overcome these rent challenges, and with great success. According to Daniela Wei and Frederik Balfour in an article for Bloomberg, one particular flip-flop retailer actually saw a 40% increase in sales between their brick-and-mortar venue and their pop up shops. However, a few multinational brands have also jumped in on the game, including Nutella and Nike.

A Nutella Pop Up Shop Drew Two-Hour Waits

One of the latest brands to get into the Hong Kong pop up shop market is Nutella, and despite the fact that it seems a rather odd choice for a local mall store, response to their temporary launch has been huge. Reports are rolling in that people were willing to take hour-long bus rides and wait two hours in line to grab a jar- at premium rates, no less. In all, more than 17,000 jars of the hazelnut spread sold during the venture, which the company says has inspired them to keep moving forward with the concept. Nutella didn’t just put their standard jars out, but they did use a very simple and inexpensive trick to draw the crowds: personalisation. That’s it. They allowed shoppers to personalize their jar with a person’s name, much like Coca-Cola did a few years back, with similar success.

Other International Brands are Testing Unique Ideas in HK, Too

NIKEiD Air Max celebrated its annual “Nike Air Max Day” in Hong Kong this year as well, and they used a similar strategy. In the NIKEiD Air Max store, shoppers could customize any Air Max model or pick up totes with Air Max slogans and graphics screen-printed on. Naturally, the multinational brand also had a “Party Booth” photo stand, so people could pose with their purchases and receive a souvenir photo stamped in honour of the “holiday.”

Although Hong Kong was a little late to pick up on the trend that the rest of us know is great, it’s good to see that they’re catching on and may be able to pull the region out of its retail slump. The emergence of successful pop up shops in Hong Kong also proves one other thing: a unique proposition paired with limited availability have the potential to boost brand awareness and bring in big profits for retailers, and there’s nothing nutty at all about that.

Are you searching for the perfect venue for your pop up shop? At Popertee, we have lots of unique spaces available, sure to help you reach your goals. Browse our listings to find just the right venue for your needs today. If you’ve got a space you’d like to rent out, list it free now.

Created on date: 08/10/2018