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The New Way to Shop


Pop Up Retailers Take Flight


By Melissa Donovan


Part 1 of 2


Digital print is ideal for many short-run, short-term applications, including point of purchase (POP) and point of sale (POS) displays. If you already play in the POP/POS space, pop up shops are a target market. Holiday stores are a known example, popping up during a specific season in malls and quickly disappearing after the season is over.


Today, the trend gains momentum as these types of stores are used to create buzz around a special promotion, hype a new product or brand, or allow a Web-based retailer to test the waters in a brick-and-mortar setting. In all cases, pop up shops are short-term events that quick to go up and quicker to come down.


Found in empty storefronts, a tent or kiosk outside, or mobile via a truck or bus, these spaces promote food, clothing, artistry, and more. What do they have in common—the need for a themed, focused marketing message that requires a high-quality appearance but is easy to quickly take down.


This two-part series profiles two print service providers (PSPs) extending their knowledge of traditional POP work for the pop up shop space.



In business since 1970, KDM P.O.P. Solutions Group focuses on assisting retailers, consumer brand companies, and agencies to build brand awareness, drive traffic, and increase sales. This is done through the creation of POP print solutions, retail environments, merchandising displays, branded promotional products, online ordering technology, and fulfillment solutions.


Its headquarters and main production facility is located in Cincinnati, OH, with additional production operations in Cincinnati, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta, GA. These locations combined employ more than 300 individuals and house a range of wide format digital print devices. This includes a number of devices from Hewlett-Packard (HP)—two HP Scitex FB7600s, an HP Scitex TJ8500, HP Designjet Z6100, and two HP Designjet L25500s; two EFI VUTEk QS2000s and an EFI VUTEk QS3200; and an Océ LightJet 430.


This collaboration of hardware offers an ease of doing business, according to Maureen Gumbert, marketing manager, KDM. A simplified supply chain, flexibility, and speed to market all play a part in a smooth workflow process.


While POP has always represented a large role in the PSP’s service offerings, it noticed a trend in pop up stores several years ago. Particularly in shopping centers during the holidays, where toy vendors would appear in empty retail spaces. With the recession, these empty spaces became the norm.


“The owners were more than happy to lease their spaces out whenever they could. The trend has gotten more popular as retailers find that the concept can meet many marketing goals besides a way to increase just seasonal holiday sales,” explains Gumbert.


KDM has seen pop up shops used to include online-only retailers experimenting with a physical location, retailers testing a new market, brands launching a new product where consumers can interact and test it out, and as a guerilla marketing tactic to attract media.


When it comes to creating a pop up store order, KDM finds that the sky is the limit. Storefront signage, interior décor graphics, wayfinding signage, merchandise and literature displays, and POP materials including channel strips, end cap displays, shelf wobblers, gondola headers, floor graphics, window graphics, ceiling danglers, banners, pennant strings, and coupon tear pads are all collateral ideal for a pop up store retailer.


Time to market is the essential element when it comes to designing and printing the graphics. For KDM, graphic production varies based on the scope of the project and the customer’s needs. If requested, it will turn a project around in one day. Here is where the characteristics of digital wide format print become ideal for this scenario, including speed to market, temporary in nature, and short-run print needs.


Ultimately speed and quantity make a pop up shop job ideal for digital print. As most shops are only found in one location, the small range of pieces could never cost effectively be run on KDM’s offset or screen presses. KDM recognizes this and leverages its digital technologies for this application. Learn more about KDM at


Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Jan2014, Digital Output DOPOP1401

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