Thanks to a tipster who pointed us to this Financial Times article out last week. It seems the pop-up shop phenomenon of 2009 will change the retail landscape of the East End for summers to come, though the experts are not sure which direction things will go. The plethora of new temporary stores, particularly in East Hampton, has made it all the more likely that some long-term leases will be signed now that the economy is on the rebound, but how many may depend on the success of individual brands. Landlords who were desperate to unload empty storefronts come May probably won't have that sense of urgency come next year. Opinions on the matter are as follows:
· Hal Zwick, director of the commercial division of Devlin McNiff: "This summer has definitely been the apex of pop-ups: they’ll still be around in 2010 but there’ll be fewer and fewer each year until we go back to where we were."
· Ron Curtis, CEO/husband of Jill Stuart (long-term leaser): "It’s kind of an in-thing now and they [the luxury brands] all want the prestige but it’s not a money-maker."
· "Joel Isaacs, president of Isaacs & Company, a Manhattan-based commercial brokerage: "If you’re a good consumer and you know something’s going to be there for a short amount of time, you’re going to go out of your way to go there during that period of time."
· Michael Stone, a senior director at Cushman & Wakefield: "It remains to be seen whether tenants are going to try to negotiate long-term deals or whether they’ll want that short-term deal going forward. Next year, pop-ups will be much harder to get, because everyone saw how quickly the stores leased up this year."
A smattering of sales assistants interviewed gave reports on their individual stores as well, saying everything from sales being 'inconsistent' (Temperley) to their role including 'brand awareness' (DVF). Perhaps best described by the article as 'sugar-coated guerrilla marketing, where size and simplicity are key', it seems pop-up shops will always be a part of the East End scene, their numbers likely fluctuating with the economy.
· Pop-up shops in the Hamptons [FT]