An old proverb says “if the mountain won’t come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain”. This has recently become all the rage as a successful and creative trend in the hotel and personal services industries, as well as in sales and entertainment. It is called pop-up.
From London to New York, through festivals in the countryside and remote sites, the idea of the pop-up business is to spring temporarily in those places where its services might be enjoyed by seasonal and casual clients, or specific contexts. The limited permanence of a pop-up venue, allows for creativity with the services and the space they are in, and is particularly attractive due to its fleeting nature.
A lucrative concept
It is estimated that only in 2012, pop-up businesses generated 8 thousand million dollars in the United States, and the trend is growing in different countries of the world. What is the secret? Pop-ups offer a spontaneous experience, and give clients the feeling of having appeared right there and then, breaking the routine of a well-known space, and vanishing in the same way, like magic.
Pop-ups are ideal for spas and other businesses dedicated to wellbeing, health and beauty, because of the possibility of being able to be placed right where the target market could need these services, such as industry fairs, airports, businesses, hospitals, cultural festivals, sports events, or simply as an oasis in the center of a busy cosmopolitan city.
Many of the potential clients of a spa or wellness center are frequently people who are in transit and have little time to search and go to a specific venue to receive treatment. Pop-up spaces have the added charm of coming closer to the clients without interrupting their flow, inviting them to enjoy a facial, an energetic therapy or a relaxing massage, in a casual and unexpected manner.
Other benefits of pop-ups
Another appealing point of the pop-ups, is that they can be adapted to a huge range of needs, as they come in all shapes and sizes: in shipping containers, portable or modular structures, transitory constructions made out of fabric, straw, ice… creativity is the limit for the experience that a pop-up can offer to a visitor, without the investment and with lesser risk than opening a permanent spa and wellness venue entails, in a market that is not consolidated.
The flexibility that these kinds of spaces offer, allows for a great deal of innovative activities such as having renowned therapists as temporary guests, receiving interns, promoting new lines of products and services, conducting wellness and lifestyle courses for new audiences, promoting the services offered at established venues, offering specific therapies for the context of the location, etc.
An interesting opportunity for spa industry?
Currently, the idea of the spa pop-up is starting to gain popularity among clients and investors, with very diverse models: experiences such as that of SOAK in San Francisco who establish themselves for a certain period in specific communities, promoting market development, or others like The Cloud based in England, who offer daily experiences within the frame of several events, and promote themselves through social networks.
The great opportunity of the pop-up trend is undoubtedly the possibility of being in the right place at the right time, in a creative and playful manner, bringing spa and wellness services beyond the walls of a venue to new clients and spaces, at a reduced cost. For certain, entrepreneurs who take on this trend will shortly enjoy the benefits of flexibility, movement and freshness that this model has to offer.