The high street is undergoing significant changes, with one of the most apparent being an increased number of brand collaborations and pop-up events. Whereas, historically, retailers have kept their concepts very much within their own shop spaces, now it is increasingly common for brands to branch out, appearing within other business spaces and hosting experiences alongside other, typically complementary brands.
Their experience-focussed events and limited-time crossovers bring a great deal of reward for those retailers willing to embark on their organisation. By understanding these rewards, it becomes more apparent as to why brand collaborations are growing in popularity.
Taking on a shop space, especially a larger high street property, can be daunting. When a retailer considers the ongoing costs of utilities and rent, there can be a certain degree of concern, especially not knowing about the consistency of sales. However, if two retailers take on the same space, including potential furniture and shop shelving, they are able to share these costs between them, reducing the financial cost of bills and the potential risk a business, particularly that of a new retail endeavour, might face.
These shared retail spaces are great for merging audiences. Customers who favour a particular clothing brand, for example, might also be interested in a health and beauty brand whose aesthetic and ethical practices match. By sharing a retail space or hosting a pop-up together, brands are able to capitalise on each other’s popularity and grow their customer base together.
There is also the element of crossover in situational retail too. Following the same example, clothing and beauty products are often complementary in a practical sense too, with those looking for new clothing also being interested in new grooming products, perhaps even for a special event.
When combining space and advertising, assets can also be shared. Retailers can utilise shared shop shelving and furniture options, even checkout areas, to not only reduce the amount of space required by both parties but also the cost of assets such as greeting card units and mannequins. This can be particularly useful during pop-up events, with retailers being able to both host and visit other high street brands more efficiently, being relieved of the cost associated with purchasing or hiring temporary shop fittings and furniture.
Limited-time events, products, and crossovers are incredibly exciting, which is partly why pop–up events have become popular. Not only do they help to reach new customers but they also create significant hype around brands. Typically, these experiential events are coupled with offers or exclusive products that customers might otherwise miss out on, ensuring that they, and others, are more likely to participate or visit a retail venue during this period.
Particularly for new businesses and those not already established on the high street, both pop-up events and brand collaborations are useful as they eliminate a great deal of risk, giving the opportunity for brands to test the water of the high street and see if there is an interest in them having a long-term presence as a brick and mortar retailer.