Pop-up retail was first introduced as a new marketing concept in 2003, but it only appeared in South Africa in 2008. Pop-up retail is still viewed as an innovation in South Africa. It entails the opening of a tentative store, located in a unique space or venue, offering the opportunity for product trial and “one-of-a-kind” store experiences through the use of unique venues. Pop-up stores are temporary and their opening is mostly unannounced (OPEN TEXT CORPORATION, 2008c:4). Consumers are forced to make quick decisions to either visit the store or not, as these stores have a limited lifespan. Pop-up retail offers an entertaining and satisfactory retail environment and may provide a solution for retailers to survive fierce competition.
The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between characteristics of the innovation (relative advantage, trialability, observability, low complexity, compatibility), internal factors (mood or emotional state, hedonic desires, consumer innovativeness), an external factor (exterior store design) on the one hand, and young South African consumers‟ impulse intention to visit a pop-up store on the other. An exploratory survey research design was followed. Data was collected by means of a structured, self-administered questionnaire developed from existing scales. It was administered to a convenience sample of 523 South African students. Confirmatory factor analyses were done to validate the latent underlying variables for the hybrid model. Pearson‟s correlation coefficient test was run for testing various hypotheses, establishing the correlation between the independent variables and the dependent variable. Values of the correlation coefficient ranged between 0.39 and 0.61, indicating a positive correlation between the independent variables and the impulse intention
to visit a pop-up store. All the correlations were significant at the 1% level (p-value < 0.0001). Multiple regression analysis was employed to test and quantify the relative contribution of the multiple independent variables to predicting impulse intention to visit a pop-up store.
The findings indicated that all the hypotheses developed for the study were supported. Characteristics of an innovation, internal factors and external factors were proven to play a role in young South African consumers‟ impulse intention toward pop-up retail. Observability, compatibility, consumer innovativeness and exterior store design appeared to be more predictive of consumers‟ impulse intention to visit pop-up stores.
The study was limited to students enrolled at only two tertiary institutions in South Africa. Further research is needed at tertiary institutions in other cities in the country. The study focused only on impulse intention to visit pop-up stores in South Africa and future research is needed to study the different forms of pop-up retail to determine the most effective ones locally, as well as the behaviour of consumers visiting an actual pop-up store. Retailers making use of pop-up stores should include unique products, engaging experiences, signage and trial opportunities for consumers. Store design should be eye-catching, hedonically pleasing and explorative, with moderate complexity to attract innovative consumers and result in optimum success.