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Old 11-30-2009, 10:30 PM   #1
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Retailing Trend Not for E-Book Reader Vendors?

This article on pop-up stores made me wonder why some of the non-brick&mortar ebook reader vendors wouldn't want to take advantage of low rents to push their products.

Seems to me, that with low rents and the ebook readers taking off this holiday season, it would be a good opportunity to educate consumers and provide a hands-on experience.

Even if its not enough product for a temporary storefront...most malls also rent pushcarts.

http://www.boston.com/business/artic...or_the_season/


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Electronic Arts, which has one other pop-up location, in San Francisco, is not selling merchandise in the temporary spaces, but using the venues to raise awareness for the video games and referring customers to merchants where they can purchase them.
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The trend is so hot that it has pulled in a business that made its name by selling outside the big boxes: eBay, which opened a pop-up store this month in New York City for its secondhand wares.
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Old 12-01-2009, 01:33 AM   #2
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I was working with Pioneer Place mall in downtown Portland to do just that. It seemed like an Ideal sort of situation. they were willing to work with me on rent- a great rate actually- and hours for operating in an actually store space(was a Bang and Olufsen).

I was actually only going to be open during the weekends and during the week the store front would be a big advert. pointing people to my website. I have history in mall retail and had someone lined up to work the store with me.

The main issues were timing and funds. I didnt have the funds to get both inventory and pay the first months rent. I wanted that as security for myself because I didnt want my first relationship with them to be not paying the rent. I also didnt want an unpleasant retail experience for customers. that's where the timing came in.

They contacted me about it in the week before Halloween. we had talked previously about a cart possibly. They were getting alot of calls about ereaders and since I was the person they knew that had a plan they wanted me in this space.

But buy the time I could have - scrounged the funds(which i did end up borrowing a small amount but business loans for start-ups are just non-existent)ordered inventory, applied for the city tax permit, design (w/help from a designer) the store front to their specs got that stuff created /printed etc and up I would have been opening probably last weekend if not this weekend.

And probably not had any inventory still. As it we still don't have retail boxes for the PocketBooks. I would have had to have something besides them and I did line up some from Elonex which they were nice enough to hold for 1 week while we negotiated etc.

So i would have paid for 2 months and had maybe 5 weeks until Christmas.

I'm happy with the decision we made to not go forward. We just didnt have time to prepare a good shopping experience. We will be talking again after the New Year about a space so I'm glad no damage was done with the mall leasing agent if we had inventory issues etc.

Still, I was down town the other day and made a point of going to look at the empty store front and think about the What Ifs....if they had just called me 2 weeks earlier...

Last edited by Dulin's Books; 12-01-2009 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing your story...a lot of insights. I could see how the investment and inventory issues would hinder an independent seller. I do wonder why manufacturers, including Amazon, haven't tried this themselves.

Sorry it didn't work out as I still think these types of retail fronts would be ideal for selling e-book readers during this holiday season.
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Old 12-02-2009, 01:12 AM   #4
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@Dulin I'd definitely give it a shot when you guys get the inventory...I worked with my brother, who is a caricature artist, in several malls in Washington and if you have an interesting product and a good pitch you can sell a lot of product. You will pay a lot in rent, but it's awesome for getting your name out there.

When/if you do, be sure to have plenty of business cards with your website address ready. We never did carry enough, even though I kept printing more. And the customers did call back.

In addition, we noticed a HUGE decline in customer draw from switching from larger color displays that were non-reflective to those same designs behind glass. So whatever you do for a display, make sure that mall-goers can view your marketing campaign from 20 feet away with lots of color and no glare.
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