House of Fraser in pop-up deal to attract new shoppers

House of Fraser has signed a deal with a property-tech startup that will see the UK department stores giant hosting pop-up concessions in its stores for small retail brands at an early stage in their development.


House of Fraser


The deal, with Propertee, will see retail startups taking on concession stands and shared spaces within House of Fraser “to help launch their brands and test out new products.” Popertee will work with various House of Fraser stores to “analyse their exact customer profile and then use these profiles to find the perfect retail startup,” it said.

Founded last year in Northern Ireland, Popertee uses artificial intelligence to match retailers with vacant storefronts based on customer profiles, while allowing retailers to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns in real time.  

Its offer is based on a real time analytics tool, Popscore. This crunches available data to assess how well client campaigns performed.

The company said the link-up with HoF should “create a virtuous cycle; retail start-ups are given an outlet located in areas with highly specific buying patterns while House of Fraser can bring in new customers by offering an ever-changing array of retail offerings.” 

The move reflects a strong trend towards pop-ups in recent years with the sector enjoying a turnover of more than £2.3 billion and employing over 26,000 people, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

But the CEBR also said that a lack of digital tools to help drive innovation is holding pop-ups back, even though more retailers are looking at the different approach they offer as a way to complement and enhance their long term lets. 

Where traditional retail locations focus on maximising on-site sales, pop-ups are being used for a far wider range of different purposes, from experiential marketing to product testing. 

Previous campaigns in Ireland have seen warehouses, shared spaces, restaurants, retail parks and conventional shops taken over to provide experiences ranging from retail pop-ups, showrooms, or even visual and augmented reality experiences for clients from food brands to carmakers.

The deal with HoF marks a major step in the firm’s move into the UK and comes ahead of plans to expand in the US late next year.

CEO and founder Lucinda Kelly said: “The retail sector is currently at a crossroads, where technology and changing consumer habits are forcing profound change across the board. We see an incredibly exciting opportunity to help bring brands together with high street retailers. Creating this kind of experiential offer back can help drive footfall and retain spend. Crucially, using analytics to track and measure engagement will become part and parcel of the physical retail environment over the next few years. Digital media is already optimised, measured and programmatic – why can’t we do the same for retail? “

House of Fraser added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for [us] to trial a series of pop-ups and to present customers with new brands and experiences on a regular basis across key stores.”

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