Shipping containers and the impact of flexible retail spaces

Short-term retail spaces can provide retailers with real agility and flexibility, especially when it comes to new products and brand campaigns. Pop-up stores also allow retailers the opportunity to target new markets, test new products and provide a unique brand experience for customers, especially appealing to Millennials.

Equally, landlords and developers can maximise commercial return on space traditionally not recognised for retail, with shipping containers offering an opportunity for landlords to generate revenue from unused areas of their assets while creating hype and attraction.

They can be easily customised and fit-out onsite with multiple structure reconversions then easily transported to their location making them the more affordable option.

Benefiting from increased foot traffic, pop-up stores deliver retail that has been referred to as “massclusivity” – providing large numbers of shoppers with what feels like a unique, one-off experience. Several large corporates have embraced the growing trend as part of marketing and brand campaigns, including adidas, Tesla, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Nike.

We have also seen some of these global retail behemoths experimenting with shipping containers to create a differentiated experience and expect the associated benefits will drive future uptake among Australian landlords and retailers alike.

Shipping containers offers brand exposure, monetisation, flexibility, sustainability and affordability. Retailers are given a blank canvas to express their creativity and provide an “instagrammable experience” a powerful tool to deliver instant brand awareness.

And finally, retailers are increasingly seeking to create a brand purpose that aligns with environmentally and socially conscious shoppers. With more than 24 million unused shipping containers around the globe, this makes them appealing for “green” consumers as it takes more than 8000kWh of energy to make a shipping container and only 400kWh to upcycle to a modular unit.

Sophie Herdegen, executive, retail leasing at Cushman and Wakefield.


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