1st Edition

Ephemeral Retailing Pop-up Stores in a Postmodern Consumption Era

By Ghalia Boustani Copyright 2020
    126 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Often described as the "hottest" retail phenomenon, ephemeral retail concerns the growth of pop-up stores as a new mode of retailing. These temporary stores "pop-up" without notice, quickly attract crowds, then disappear or morph into something else. Although they share similarities with traditional physical stores and online stores, ephemeral stores outshine existing retail formats as they have many unique and differentiating characteristics.

    These stores are becoming more popular among distribution channels as they offer exclusive and surprising retail experiences. Many established brands have already integrated these new points of sale into their distribution channels, while other brands are adopting them to raise communication, awareness, sales or just for experimentation. This phenomenon is finding its place amongst retailers not only for its efficiency and effectiveness but also for its unique impact, providing a sense of novelty that makes it particularly attractive to postmodern consumers seeking hedonic experiences.

    This concise text introduces all aspects of this growing phenomenon and contextualises it within existing channels of distribution. It explores brand atmospheric interventions that are designed to affect customer emotions, behaviours or experiences, as well as practices retailers adopt to build relationships with their customers. It will be of interest to scholars and advanced students in retail marketing and branding.

    1. Towards a comprehension of ephemeral retail stores  2. Traditional store atmospheres and their effects on customers  3. Customer reactions to atmospheric stimuli  4. Ephemeral retailing; an experiential era  5. Conclusion


    Ghalia Boustani is a researcher at Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France, and holds a doctorate degree from Ecole Supérieure des affaires, Lebanon. Her main research interest is in ephemeral retailing; completing her first study on pop-up stores in the Middle East, she has now focused her research on pop-up stores in Europe. Throughout her academic journey, Ghalia has also worked closely with professionals and entrepreneurs on several projects that added value to her research.

    "Boustani’s cogent synthesis of pop up retail offers valuable insight to students and practioners interested in ephemeral retail. Whilst pop up’s have been a hot topic for the past two decades, this book provides a fresh perspective on the pertinent aspects that make this retail format still salient today."Bethan Alexander, Course Director MA Fashion Retail Management and Research Fellow, London College of Fashion, UAL, UK

    "A highly relevant text with strong contemporary resonance drawing on the domains of branding strategy, consumer behaviour and experiential management."Ranjit Thind, Lecturer & Consultant at International Fashion Management & Marketing, Coventry University London, UK

    "Ephemeral Retailing is a one-of-a-kind book elaborating the temporal and experiential aspects of pop-up stores as compared to traditional outlets. Both formats are thoroughly described and compared in view of their nature and their impact on consumer buying behavior. The book is a must-read for all those aspiring to increase customer lifetime value and return on investment."Joyce Menassa, Assistant Vice President for Academic Support at Notre Dame University, Lebanon

    "What was trend becomes strategy for brands, rather than exposing their products, providing experiences to their consumers. Ghalia Boustani is extremely didactic and descriptive in her vast research because, besides a historical survey of the ephemeral context in retail, this is an indispensable book for those who want to know and deepen their knowledge about consumption."Sabrina Levinton, Designer and Innovation Consultant at FIEP, Brazil

    "Pop-up retail is a practicable business model in the postmodern age, offering agile retail formats that function to test new markets and express brand identity in novel ways. Ghalia Boustani’s insightful text assesses the ephemerality of retail as a concept wherein its structures and geographical locations are fluid with pop up retail being the finest example of this."Dr Ruth Marciniak, Programme Leader MSc Fashion and Lifestyle Marketing, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

    "Pop-up stores have become today’s retailers’ favourite formats; driven by a clear strategy and objectives, they can be of great benefit to the brand. The pop-up store is also a great storyteller as it reflects the brand’s visual identity at every level. Ephemeral Retailing highlights the nature and characteristics of pop-up stores, it weaves the concept with that of experiential stores while drawing the link between the influence they have on customers. A must read for professionals and academics!"Alaa Mourad, Founder of Miaw Design & Communications

    "From the vagabond city vendors at the turn of the twentieth century to the latest tech-infused pop-up stores in the Manhattans of today, Ghalia’s Ephemeral Retailing takes you on a colorful and exciting journey of the ‘Pop-Up’ phenomenon. She elegantly describes the uniqueness of these retail stores and intricately unpacks the different customer experiences they provide. The book is rich in thoughtful analysis, evidence and research; sensitive to the blurring boundaries between customer and the retail environment; and is an absolute delight to read. If you are working towards growing your relationship with the postmodern consumer and would like to explore the possibilities, then this book is for you!"Darine Najem, Consultant for Behavioral, Organizational and Systemic Change – Executive Board Member at the ChangeLeaders alumni of the Said Business School at Oxford University, UK and HEC Paris, France

    "Customers always want more, and they want it faster, and this dynamic does not seem to decrease. Providing exclusive products is key to the sustainability of retailing. Therefore, pop-up stores and, to a larger extent, short-term events are the future of retail. Ghalia Boustani's consistent research provides a precise and perceptive overview of the current transformation happening in the retail industry."Pierre Bellon, Business Operations Manager at Storefront

    "An insightful book that would benefit an array of readers, be it academics, professionals or even curious minds looking to explore the ephemeral retailing world. Boustani’s professional experience in the field combined with her research expertise enables her to brilliantly analyze the world of pop up stores and provide us with valuable customer insights."Sarah Zaraket, PhD student at Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France

    "This book presents the reader with a synthesis and a thorough analysis about pop-up stores. This pragmatic overview shows us how the novel pop-up store concept finds its place in marketing strategies: a tool to promote brands, a mix between communication and retail, experiential marketing, and emotions. It is sure that today’s retail revolution is marked by customer emotions and shared experiences; these fundamentals are certainly well captured in Ghalia Boustani’s book."Lucie Breton, CEO, L’Emplacement, France