How to Sell Sunglasses at Pop-Up Shops

There are lots of different business models for selling sunglasses. At Olympic Eyewear, our business model involves offering bulk sunglasses for sale to retailers who turn around and sell them online, in boutiques, at pharmacies, etc. One business model that seems to be growing in popularity is the pop-up shop. Yes, you can make a very good business out of focusing exclusively on pop-ups.

By definition, a pop-up shop is a shop that opens temporarily in order to take advantage of certain trends and/or seasons. As soon as demand for the product falls, the shop closes and the retailer moves on. A savvy business owner with enough moxie and very little fear can do quite well selling this way. As an alternative, some business owners combine online sales with pop-ups to keep revenue coming in year-round.

Plan for Locations and Inventory

Planning is the foundation of succeeding in the pop-up business. For example, you may have noticed that wholesale companies like Olympic Eyewear are already talking about spring and summer fashions for 2018. We have to get started early because our customers need their inventory shipped by late winter if they are to be prepared for the onset of spring. We have to plan months ahead of time.

Pop-up shop owners need to employ the same kind of planning. Let’s say you want to open a summer pop-up shop to sell sunglasses down at the local beach. You cannot wait until May to start planning. Rather, you must start looking for locations now. You have to start contacting landlords, inquiring about licenses, and so forth. A successful pop-up retailer tends to think six months out.

Do Not Let Your Shop Look Temporary

One of the biggest mistakes retailers make with pop-up shops is not putting in effort to give their customers a quality presentation. They put no effort into their retail space because they know it is only temporary. This is not good. Our advice is that you do not let your shop look or feel like it’s temporary. Make the effort to spruce up the space so that it looks as though you’ve established a permanent location.

Focus on Trends

The nature of pop-up retail indicates that you only have a short amount of time to maximize sales. The best way to do that is to focus on trends. What are people buying right now? What does the industry say they will be buying six months from now? You need to take advantage of trends in both inventory and retail presentation. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer and try to imagine the kinds of things that would trigger a sale.

Embrace Social Media

Social media is the communication tool of choice among those customers most likely to purchase sunglasses at pop-up shops: millennials and their children. As such, you should be fully embracing social media to get the word out about your new pop-up shop. Every new location should be promoted with a social media blitz during the last few weeks before opening. Don’t start marketing too early though, as you don’t want news about your pop-up to peak before you ever open the doors.

There are retailers who sell sunglasses exclusively through pop-up shops. You can do the same if you enjoy that kind of business model. Just be aware that it takes a different kind of mindset to succeed with pop-ups. As a pop-up retailer, you are essentially a nomad moving your business from one location to the next. Along the way, you are dialing into the latest trends to sell your products.

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