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Emmaus Bristol and their Pop-Up Adventure

Monday, 03 October 2016 14:40

Emmaus Bristol 2 Revamped

Emmaus Bristol Take on the Pop-Up

When Jess from Emmaus Bristol mentioned that they had opened a pop-up shop I (Bex Jones) immediately had a million and one questions about the whole venture so I sent a selection of questions her way (lucky for Jess - and you dear readers - I whittled them down to 6).

Tell us about your new and exciting venture

We have two established second-hand shops in Bedminster and Stokes Croft in Bristol but are looking for ways to expand our market. Although we do offer delivery on larger items, it is harder for people to find us and take things home when we’re only in two locations, so opening up a third shop was the logical next-step for us.

But Why a Pop-Up Shop?

It’s a great way to test a new area, as well as gain a higher profile. Apart from our staff costs, a pop-up shop is a very affordable way to test a new business venture as the space is usually given for free. We worked with Centric Community Projects to find a free space, and then made sure the area was right for us by considering things like location and how much floor space it had.

How long is Your Pop-Up Shop Open For?

We really can’t tell you! We only have two weeks’ notice if and when a commercial company leases the premises, so we can’t plan for the long term. However, that’s the nature of the pop-up and it’s short term nature helps us to generate interest.

Emmaus Bristol 1 Revamped

How Successful is it?

We’ve generated a lot of local interest from people eager to see empty shops being used for something in their area, and we’ve been smashing our weekly income targets so far. It’s hard to keep stock new and fresh, and staff are being stretched so there definitely challenges too, but on the whole we’re really pleased with how it’s been going. 

What Have You Learnt So Far?

If we did another pop-up we’d prefer a longer lead-in, and try and have more stock set aside in advance. It’s also great to have unique selling point – a focus to hang the marketing off, so a specific theme or type of stock would be great to experiment with if we were to launch another in the future. Getting local community members enthused and excited about the shop in advance is a great way to generate interest, so in future we’d try and find time to do more of this before opening.

Your Next Steps

The pop-up shop has been a great test for us to see if we have the capacity to set up and run a third shop. Since it’s been going so well, we’ve had the confidence to plan a new, and permanent premises which we’ll be opening in the next few months. We’ve learnt that our staff are capable of extremely tight turnarounds (we had a week to set up, promote and open the pop-up) and are flexible enough to work across three sites. 


Thank you to Jess from Emmaus Bristol who gave such informative answers to all of my questions. 

Read 1296 times Last modified on Tuesday, 04 October 2016 08:29

1 comment

  • Comment Link Wendy Miller Friday, 07 October 2016 09:01 posted by Wendy Miller

    Well done to the Emmaus team!

    Have saved this article just in case we get the chance to try this idea.


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