EE reveals pop-ups will grow two and a half times faster than fixed retailers

A new report has estimated that pop-up retailing will grow by 8.4% over the next 12 months, nearly two and a half times faster than the traditional UK retail market.

Appear Here's CEO Bailey spearheads the pop-up campaign
Appear Here's CEO Bailey spearheads the pop-up campaign

The research was conducted by mobile network EE and the Centre for Economics and Business Research. It also showed that an estimated 23,400 people are employed in nearly 10,000 pop-ups, and pop-up retailers currently contribute £2.1bn to the UK economy.

Richard Lim, head of business information at the British Retail Consortium, said: "These figures demonstrate the important role pop-up retail is playing in the UK economy, but we’re only at the beginning of this pop-up revolution.

"The novel use of these temporary spaces showcases the innovative nature of UK retail which continues to adapt to consumer demands and structural changes occurring throughout the industry. "

The report also explores how the growth can be encouraged further, concluding that double-digit growth could be achieved with the removal of retailing barriers. These include lack of flexible short-term contracts, lack of flexible space, obstructive business rates and rents and lack of access to technology.

To combat the latter problem, EE has announced a partnership with the British Retail Consortium, pop-up space marketplace Appear Here and a range of pop-up entrepreneurs. The Pop-Up UK mission will aim to help 3,000 would-be business owners to set up pop-ups in the next three years.

Headed by Appear Here’s chief executive, Ross Bailey, and EE’s director of small business, Mike Tomlinson, the campaign includes a ‘how to start a pop-up shop' guide, a 4G pop-up bundle offer that includes temporary contracts, a mentoring system and dedicated EE support.

Bailey said: "Pop-ups are the future of retail, and this campaign goes a long way to helping remove the barriers pop-ups are facing every day. Whether you’re a major retailer that wants to try out a new product line or just one person with a great idea – setting up a pop-up should be as easy as possible.

"This new Pop-Up UK campaign helps remove technological barriers plus helps connect entrepreneurs with their ideal pop-ups locations. However, there’s much more support needed to help pop-ups achieve their true potential, particularly from the government."

Tomlinson added: "Small businesses, and pop-ups in particular, face massive barriers and we’ve launched Pop-Up UK to stoke the fire under Britain’s pop-up retail economy. We’ve worked with a wide range of pop-up entrepreneurs to understand how we can help them achieve their goals."

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