Pop Up Shops

An insight into the ever growing world of events and pop-up shops surrounding the charity retail sector.

Event me up

The ever changing world we live in today affects all aspects of daily life. The charity retail sector is certainly no exception and is expanding rapidly. Many charities are diversifying by thinking outside of the box to raise more money through special events and pop-up shops.

~ Events provide promotional opportunities to raise awareness and gain long-term commitment from consumers. 

Charities of all sizes have many national and local events that people follow religiously. Cancer Research Race for Life provides an opportunity for the public to raise money by physically taking part and supporting a cause precious to them.

The retail sector is no different with events in the form of charity fashion shows being organised to emphasise the abundance of fantastic goods donated to charities across the world. St Rocco’s Hospice recently held a charity fashion show to highlight what they had to offer and squash the stigma of the charity shop scene that once was.

Not only are these events a great way to raise extra income and overall awareness but they also encourage people to socialise and celebrate the charities themselves and the work they do.

Events and PR

The importance of PR surrounding events is crucial in portraying the right image for a specific cause. Heightened positive press ensures the correct public perception about your charity and can secure future support, funding, sponsors and donations.

Events surrounding your charity shop can provide a valuable reminder that every sale of a donated item funds vital work and can provide consumers with that feel good factor that everyone wants to experience.

Whether you are part of a small, medium or large charity effective PR adds the sparkle to your event!

Did someone say pop up shop?

Amazingly the YHA have found a diverse new way to utilise items left behind/donated by guests at their youth hostels. The YHA Day Pop-up Charity Shop provides an all-round event upcycling vintage and bargain finds to the public.

The days are at various different venues across England and Wales and prove to be a great fun day for all including live music and cupcake stalls. This highlights how many different ways there are to drum up funds for charities whilst providing fun events for the whole family. The idea of including music, entertainment and food to your pop-up shops/stalls is a form of upselling and link selling motivating individuals to release their inner entrepreneur.

All proceeds from the YHA pop-up shops go to the YHA charity Breaks for Kids. Click here to find out more. 

Vintage Fairs

A huge part of the charity retail sector places emphasis on vintage and retro goods within their shops. Lighthouse charity shops who fund the work of Valley CIDS have thirty shops in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, two of those specialise in vintage and retro. The charity recently had a pop-up stall at The Buxton Vintage Fair held at The Dome in the centre of the picturesque town.

Here the charity showcased their unique donated stock whilst representing the overall work the charity does. The response from the fellow traders and public was overwhelming for Valley CIDS and they not only had a successful event but managed to secure an event for the future. Not bad for their first pop-up experience!

Why Pop-up?

For many charities, the beauty of a pop-up shop is to test the demographic in a specific location. Try before you buy is something that many of us like the sound of. The charity PDSA are firm believers in utilising empty retail units. As long as the shop is maintained and the occupant is aware of having to vacate at any given point the pop-up world seems to be a favourable option for many charites.

Top Tips

  • Do your research around specific areas
  • Ensure enough help and support from others
  • Be creative
  • Be flexible
  • Stress that it is a pop-up temporary shop
  • Add a twist to the specific area you are popping up in
  • Provide an incentive

Nothing to lose

Holding an event or pop-up stall is a great way to publicise charity shop activity. They provide tasters of what is on offer and encourage participation from others.

Next time you walk by an empty space, ask yourself could this be a perfect pop-up shop?

If so… Just do it!

This guest blog was written by Valley CIDS Retail Visual Merchandiser & Events Manager, Harriet Webster


Discover more about the work of Valley CIDS here.