The Untapped Potential of the Pop Up Market Industry in Revolutionizing The Arica Business Economy

March 16, 2021
New Opportunities

Within the last decade, there has been a tremendous upsurge in the number of e-commerce businesses being set up. The serious advancement and availability of technology and software, the increased reliance on the internet and the popularity of social media platforms have all played a major role in making this happen. The world is rapidly turning into one booming global village where you can connect and transact with absolutely anyone from any corner of the planet. Businesses are no longer limited to attracting just a local following. The internet has allowed for them to get their products and services in front of target audiences way beyond their own geographical limitations, making it easier to grow their brands almost to international level, without as much of the financial and other resource commitment that it entailed a while back.

With this metaphorical cushion of stability in place, more and more people are finding the courage to start their own small scale businesses and side hustle projects since the risk of having to put up a brick and mortar premise has been eliminated, yet they still get to reach their target audiences and deliver their quality products or services. With that said, business is really booming in the online market! Now more than ever, especially after the devastating effects that were caused by the recent Covid-19 pandemic, where a lot of businesses were forced to close shop and in turn faced tremendous losses. Those who had the basic understanding of taking their businesses online were able to salvage themselves and those who were lucky got even more business due to people realizing the convenience of getting their products delivered in a safe hustle free way.

All this not withstanding, one can still not eliminate the immersive experience that comes with carrying out physical shopping. Being able to interact with a product in real time before making the decision to actually make a purchase is still an unparalleled experience. So what does this mean for those without the means to set up physical retail outlets? Do they give up altogether and hope that their online presence is enough to keep their business afloat?

Absolutely not! There is a hidden gem that has yet to get on the radar of many business owners that could potentially revolutionize how many of them conduct their businesses. That gem is the ‘Pop Up shops/ markets franchise’.

What is a pop-up shop?

In their simplest form, pop-ups are temporary retail spaces that give companies the opportunity to sell their products in an environment completely designed and controlled by them. Since they're temporary, they offer a relatively low-cost and low-commitment way for companies to take creative risks, generate buzz, and introduce their brands to new audiences.

Imagine giving your consumer the chance to walk into a room and fully experience your brand with all their senses? Pop-up events offer just that - the chance for consumers to get up close and personal with their favorite companies in a truly immersive setting, and the online based business owners  the chance to interact with their clients face to face, get to see their reactions in real time and even understand their personal pain points up close and personally.

The concept is not a fairly new one, as it is very similar to what is commonly known as flea markets, or Maasai markets. However, its potential has not been fully realized, especially in Africa, and that is probably due to a serious knowledge gap within African business spaces.

Pop ups are even more important in the African market because they give local brands an opportunity to get in front of the right audiences, where they would otherwise not have the opportunity to, just by existing. African markets are highly saturated by international brands, which means that our own locally crafted brands are barely visible. Not because they are not good enough, but because the market is dominated by long established brands that have gained a large clout over a long period of time. Some of these local brands once given the chance, are actually so phenomenal, once they get discovered, they are like hidden treasures that blow up and bring about such a revolutionary change within the local business economy. But only because the right people got to pay attention.

This is the kind of potential that Pop up markets have to offer the African economy. With a more in-depth focus on growing made in Africa brands, we will finally be able to concentrate less on importing international brands and instead even provide a platform for our own brands to get international recognition. You do not even need numbers to figure out how much of a boost this would be to our overall economy.

So the only question left is to find out, are there any of these pop up markets readily available or does it mean that one has to still fend for themselves to find spaces that will not only accommodate their temporary pop up businesses but also their current financial status. The good news is that yes, there are.  The only setback is that they are mostly found in high end business and residential areas. This is mostly due to the fact that these are the areas with the highest purchasing power, which in retrospect is a definite revenue and brand visibility boost for brands who get accommodated into these kinds of set ups. The problem comes in when some readily available brands have to relocate every now and then in order to hop onto such opportunities. I guess in such cases it remains a question of convenience versus growth, which is the risk that will bring more returns on the business owner’s investment.

If with all this in mind, your curiosity has been stirred, check out these amazing Pop up market enterprises that have been diversifying the shopping experience and building a community / network of local  brands in Kenya, and see whether this is in fact the missing link that your business has been yearning for this whole time.

Asenka Pop up markets

Karen flea market

Junction pop up market

Pop up and chill handmakers market

Artsanal market

Paps Shops

The Xmas box


With a little planning and a lot of preparation, you can make a splash with a pop-up that delights your customers and spreads interest in your brand.

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