The term ‘pop-up’ until recent years would have been reserved primarily for children’s books. In more recent years this term has been expanded to include temporary shops springing up in major cities on a temporary or seasonal basis and generally specialising in one very specific item. In the years since the beginning of Ireland’s financial crisis, our shopping habits have naturally changed, from the original slump in shopping habits to our current push back towards consumerism. Pop-up shops were previously designated towards the more seasonal products (Christmas decorations, calendars etc.) In more recent years we have seen a trend towards these pop-up shops becoming more popular and being more widely utilised as a marketing tool, so what does this shift mean for other businesses?


The financial crisis naturally took a large toll on all businesses, in particular the retail sector with many shops in towns and cities being left largely vacant. With pop-up shops now beginning to utilise these vacant spaces it is hoped that stores will feel the benefit of increased footfall in their respective areas due to the increased interest in these temporary specialised stores. With these stores becoming increasingly popular, it is not just vacant stores which are being utilised, well known storefronts are being transformed into these temporary niche stores. Arnotts in particularly has become quite a haven for these pop-up shops, leaning primarily to the food sector with Magnum and trendy doughnut emporium Aungier Danger both choosing to set up shop temporary in their Henry Street storefront.


With the rise of this phenomenon, a new Irish company has recently been revealed which aims to specialise in pop-up shops. Popertee, the brainchild of Lucinda Kelly utilises the digital marketplace to connect businesses and marketing professionals with appropriate pop-up space. The intention is that this will function in much the same way as the highly popular travel accommodation search engine AirBnB. This could be a highly beneficial and extremely simple way to grow your business and gain new customers by making yourself and your business more visible and present in a new location for a limited time. Pop-up stores also allow a business owner to test the popularity of a product in the short term before making the long term commitment to a location. Lucinda Kelly has been quoted as saying that the model to be used is quite easy to use which will be good news for all busy business owners:

“The model is really simple. We are trying to make it a three-step-to-pop process where, on our website, you can view, consult with the owners and book your location straight away.”


This idea could change the face of retail as we know it as it will open up the idea of a pop-up store to many business which until this point may not have had this option available to them and may even bring businesses who function solely online back into the bricks and mortar business of face-to-face retail. Popertee currently has 50 locations signed up, and are on the hunt for more to add to their files


Here we see business and retail make a conscious effort to step into the new technological age, and whilst many business owners may not welcome this shift (or welcome our new robot overlords) this could be a step in the right direction for smaller stores and SMEs to get their name on a premises in a prime location for a short period of time. One thing is certain though, pop-up shops


If you require any assistance with your own business, be it advice or financial direction please don’t hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants where we will be happy to help.


Irish businesses remain slow to tap online shoppers – but selling through the internet is easier than you’d think.


According to many futurists, digital commerce will slowly but surely outpace – and perhaps eradicate – retail as we know it. However, it seems that Irish companies haven’t been getting the message. According to a study by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, only 22% of Irish small and medium enterprises trade online.

That may not seem life a problem, but the online spend of Irish consumers is on course to reach €13bn by 2020. In other words, if you’re selling to consumers without selling online, those companies that are trading digitally – whether from Ireland or abroad – are making inroads into your business.

Luckily, the process of setting up safe and reliable e-commerce is far easier than it used to be. A few key principles will help you make the transition well.


Simple, Safe Solution

Once upon a time, setting up an e-commerce site was a major project involving a huge amount of investment and a bespoke solution from your web design firm. However, the barriers to entry have fallen as more firms adopt online selling. At the most basic level, Squarespace offers a simple and cheap way to get an elegant website – and take orders – quickly. More advanced solutions are also cheaper than before thanks to affordable payment providers such as Paypal. Whether you’re happy to use an off-the-peg site, or want a web design firm to design something a bit more special, make sure the solution for shoppers is straightforward and affordable.


Customer Service

Next to price, good customer service is an online shopper’s key consideration – in fact, at its best, good service can outweigh cost for many consumers. So you should gear up your business to provide service for online shoppers – that means a clear selling and delivery process for online transactions, and clarity within your organisation about who looks after this area.

It’s not enough, however, just to have excellent service – your shoppers need to be aware of it too. Having a telephone number that customers can call – not just an ‘info@’ email address – reassures online shoppers. So too does a postal address. Also, as soon as you have some customer testimonials to share through your website, do so.


Know the Law

Some new EU regulations governing online selling have come into force, so it’s vital to be compliant with them. If you trade with customers within the EU, products or services purchased must be delivered within 30 days of the customer making the order unless they agree otherwise. If you won’t be able to deliver on this, you must inform the consumer who then must agree a revised date of delivery. In the EU, customers can cancel or withdraw from a purchase without giving any reason within 14 working days of making the order – as a trader, you must then refund any money paid within 14 days. You can only levy charges based on the cost of returning the goods.

You can no longer charge customers extra for paying by a particular method of payment – such as by credit card – than the costs actually incurred by you. Also, if you operate a telephone hotline, you can no longer chare more than the basic telephone rate for the telephone calls.


Getting set up to take and fulfil orders online isn’t an expensive or hugely laborious task. It just calls for a bit of organisations and effort, which should hopefully position you to tap a growing digital economy.


Eamonn Garvey

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