What a wonderful Holiday season! It helped drive retail sales for many companies. According to Mastercard, total US retail sales rose 5.1% between November 1 and December 24 from the prior year. As you were out shopping, you probably noticed at least one pop-up shop. They have become more and more popular as they give a fresh twist to the former all brick and mortar retail environment. In addition to an influx in commerce, retail hiring rose this past Holiday season as well. According to the Labor Department, 312,000 jobs were added in December 2018. That number includes many seasonal retail jobs.
Since the holidays have come to a close, we want to take a few moments to step back… give out some high fives, and reflect on what we learned by staffing a record number of pop-ups across the country.
The top three trends we saw for a successful pop-up this season:
Plan out staffing needs. We cannot stress enough how important it is to hire, at least, 25% more staff than you think you are going to need. Life can be busy around the holidays and this applies to the staff you hire. Plan for additional staff to cover increased business or any ‘holiday attrition’. To keep your team engaged and committed to your pop-up, plan to pay and train them well. Development of a well-trained and informed team will make the short-term sales associates feel like they are part of your brand.
Create a lasting relationship with your customers. Channel all of your resources to find ways to continue the retail momentum you’ve built by leveraging in-person interactions, digital or social media, and to extend the brand experience beyond the event. You’ve gotten them excited about your brand and now you need to stay top of mind for their future retail purchases. One example is to interact with customers on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook so you can stay connected after the pop-up shop closes.
Have an end game. Plan out how the pop-up shop will close and make your staff aware of your plans. Will you need them to work after the shop closes to wrap everything up? Are they good candidates for working any permanent retail locations you have? Consider offering a bonus for working through the entire pop-up or consider those candidates for future full-time positions with your company. Either way, your end game, is as important as your roll-out plan. Execute both and your pop-up will likely be a success.
To sum it up, it is critical to develop a thorough and practical staffing plan, create a lasting relationship with your clients, and have a long-term game plan. Mapping out those three key areas will have you on the right path to a highly successful pop-up event. As always, if you need support, our team at Emerging Blue would gladly connect you with the best pop-up event staff.
About Emerging Blue:
Emerging Blue is a creative recruitment agency that represents full-time and freelance talent in Fashion, Home and Beauty. We fill jobs from San Francisco to New York, and everywhere in-between. We represent top candidates, the hottest brands and innovative companies of all shapes and sizes. If you need recruitment and hiring support, we would love to support you. We fill jobs from Visual Merchandisers and Keyholders to Luxury Retail Store Managers and Sales Associates. Our talent is your strength.
As the retail landscape changes and evolves, pop-up shops are quickly becoming a great way for a brand to get consumers to touch, feel, and try on their products… without having to make the commitment to a permanent retail space. Many landlords, commercial real estate firms and companies, like Storefront (storefront.com), can help find the perfect location.
Whether you are looking to showcase a new line, engage with your customers or generate brand awareness, hiring the right people to work your pop-up shop can be as important as your product and your location. Maximizing the customer interaction with your brand and hiring the right temporary employees is often the key to success.
At Emerging Blue, our pop-up clients have benefited from our “Top Five” list of things to keep in mind when staffing the perfect pop-up shop.
Hire like your Brand depends on it – Your employees and staff are your brand. As pop-up shops are becoming more and more popular, it’s important to hire employees that can take customers through the full brand experience. From greeting them to establishing a connection to the product, it is key to hire Brand Ambassadors that are friendly, eager, enthusiastic and approachable.
Over hire – Life happens, and employees sometimes do not show up. For a successful pop-up, make sure you are covered for the unexpected. We always recommend that our clients hire and train at least 20% more people than they think they will need.
Train, Train, Train – We suggest providing your Managers, Sales Associates and Brand Ambassadors with training materials and an in-person training session that covers your brand story, products and store technology. A staff that understands these, will make sure everything runs smoothly once the shop opens.
Plan Ahead – We cannot stress this enough. Allow enough time to source, hire and train great employees. Plan for your projected volume, hours, product training and internal systems. Devising a plan to have the proper sized staff to maximize sales will set you and your team up for success.
Agency Partners – Find a staffing agency partner that can help you with the points above. It is beneficial to use an agency to manage your hiring needs, if you do not have enough bandwidth to do so. Agencies will source, hire and take care of new hire and payroll needs for your pop-up shop employees. This allows you to focus on the execution of your event and not focus on details like payroll, workers compensation, taxes, and other additional HR expenses for your pop-up shop staff.
In summary, with the growth of pop-up shops, it is key to understand what makes a pop-up shop effective, as well as how to attract the right talent to work the event. A few takeaways to remember, make sure you hire staff that represents your brand well. Additionally, staff must be friendly, energetic, approachable, and a fit for the brand; this will also help to drive traffic and overall sales. For the staff to be successful, make sure they are well trained and fully understand their job duties. Most importantly, hiring enough staff will make a positive impact on the event, so make sure to over hire and have a plan for when people call out and for any unexpected emergencies that may occur. Lastly, finding reliable and top talent can be a challenge, so to save time and money, reach out to a staffing agency, like Emerging Blue, to support your hiring efforts so that you can focus all your attention to bringing your vision to reality.
* To engage Emerging Blue to help with pop-up staffing, contact us at 415-543-6636 or www.emergingblue.com