Why Stores Like Lululemon In Dieppe Choose ‘Pop-Ups’ Over Permanent Locations

Image: Inda Intiar/Huddle

DIEPPE – The Lululemon Athletica shop at CF Champlain Place in Dieppe will only be open until October unless the lease is extended. This impermanence is part of its “pop-up” agreement with Cadillac Fairview, the owner of the mall and many other properties across Canada and the world.

Sal Iacono, Executive Vice President of Operations at Cadillac Fairview, told Huddle in an e-mail interview the pop-up trend has continued to gain momentum in Canada in the last two years. The concept offers opportunities for both the mall and the retailer.

“For us, pop-ups create a boutique-style shopping experience within the walls of our shopping centres which supplements the offering of the larger national brands. There is a sense of uniqueness in finding products that you cannot find in other shopping centres and may not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with in an offline setting,” he said.

“On the flip side, the pop-up concept allows retailers to test new locations including traditional shopping centre formats which they may not have been exposed to previously.”

The Lululemon pop-up was the athletic apparel brand’s first location in Moncton. It opened in October 2017 and had extended its stay until at least October this year.

“The retailer set up a temporary location in time for the busy holiday season and the response from shoppers was fantastic. As a result, Lululemon is still at [CF Champlain] continuing to explore opportunities for growth,” Iacono said.

For Cadillac Fairview, pop-ups also allow it to broaden its retail offering while testing and evaluating new retail prospects, Iacono said.

“Pop-ups have created an opportunity for us to work with new, upcoming brands that, due to a number of factors, may not otherwise be able to enter one of our shopping centres. The pop-up program allows these brands to test a market or a new concept, without committing to a long-term lease,” he added.

“Our end goal is to incubate these retailers, with the intention to transitioning them into long-term tenants. Pop-ups provide a window of time to allow these retailers to establish a presence in the market prior to opening their permanent store in their long-term location. We have seen that this is beneficial to both the retailer and the landlord.”

Brian MacMullin, CF Champlain’s general manager, told Huddle in an email that Cadillac Fairview has been experimenting incubating retailers not traditionally found in malls through pop-up locations.

This was incorporated in a national marketing campaign last spring called the CF Flower Market, where, for two weeks, consumers could go to the mall and shop at a floral market that featured local vendors like Adorable Chocolat, DodoCharms and DodoLeather.

MacMullin said more activities like this could take place in the future.