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New retail trends: pop-up stores and digital transformation

The digital transformation of the shopping experience, i.e. the e-commerce has put a strain on the traditional retail sector. Countries all over the world talk about the “retail apocalypse” because consumer habits take them online and away from shopping malls and retail shops.

We are used to thinking of retailers as companies that manage physical shops to sell goods to end customers, although with the digital transformation the meaning of “detail” has gradually changed: now includes all activities that sell goods and services to consumers without using traditional physical shops, such as e-commerce. Digitization has increased the ability of all retailers to grow their sales, and when integration between online and offline is done correctly, it is inevitable that it triggers a real virtuous circle.

The rise of pop-up stores

In this context, the trend of pop-up store has increased in recent years. A pop-up store is the term given to a store or store that is deliberately temporary. It’s a store that “pops-up” for a limited period of time to achieve a particular goal. A pop-up store may seem like a normal store, but many brands use them to create unique and engaging physical purchasing experiences because they offer flexibility and the opportunity to experiment with less risk.

While the concept of shared temporary retail spaces has been around for centuries (think markets or fairs) the term “pop-up retail” can be traced back to the late 90s. Over the next 20 years the modern pop up retail store as we know it now has evolved: in the face of the so-called ‘retail apocalypse’ and the decline of the traditional retail model, flexible retail and pop-up stores have emerged.

While the benefits for retailers are obvious (reaching new potential customers, generating content for social media, market research, selling more or freeing stock, launching a new product, testing physical retail and positions), it is interesting to analyze the benefits for landlords. They can in fact fill empty shops that would otherwise remain empty waiting for a long-term tenant and make short-term leases , that can be set up and arranged in a short period of time, having access to higher margins with respect to traditional space renting.

The value of a digital solution

However, to offer this kind of short-term leases, landlords need digital tools to manage their set of retail locations, their “store fleet”: they need to provide a ready-to-use space to their short-termcustomers, optimising operations as operating expenses need to be kept more under control when the lease lasts for a short period of time. Landlords must have digital solutions for:

  • simplify contract management and administrative management with its customers
  • simplify the access to the stores, providing digital keys solutions
  • simplify the incidents reports and access to potential service upsell for their customers

Providing a fully integrated digital software solution is therefore an essential pillar for managing pop-up store activity for owners and management companies. For example, providing a digital key management solution allows to:

  • Send remotely keys to the new temporary tenant without the need to be present
  • Increment the security, since it’s not needed to change the lock after every rending: authorization are automatically revoked at the end of the lease
  • Manage from one single coordination place tens or hundred of different stores dislocated on different cities or countries
  • Provide temporary access to suppliers and technicians to easily manage items shippings and store maintenance
  • Reduce management costs since less personnel is needed

Digital technologies can transform your real estate business

At Sofia Locks we help real-estate companies to make progress in their digital transformation process. If you want to get some advice or better understand what digital solutions can do for your real-estate business, contact us.


Between growth and apocalypse: the impact of e-commerce in the retail sector” –

What is a pop-up shop? Everything you need to know to try short-term retail” –