Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Pop Up Shop

While working as an intern at an online shopping company, I’ve been lucky to be exposed to a wide array of roles and projects that accumulate to build a strong brand such as BeachMint. Earlier this week, I worked at their warehouse/sample sale store. I’ve been to sample sales and pop up shops from different clothing brands before, but I never knew about all of the effort and work that goes behind the scenes to create a sample sale. You would think that it would be a lot easier because you’re selling items at a largely discounted price so it would be easier to sell your inventory. This is true, but because there is so much inventory to keep track of, it becomes nearly impossible to stay organized and keep up with your inventory tracking system. Half the time, I was looking for the other pair of shoes or re-organizing the sizes of the clothing. While going through the inventory, I realized how important the process of setting the shop is. You have to really place a lot of thought and effort into how you can display your products so that they can most effectively attract the customer.

The most interesting experience that I had while working at the pop-up shop was rallying people to come to the shop. Around 2:00, it would become slower in the shop because everyone would be finished with their lunch time and heading back to work. At that time, I would go out to the promenade or to the pier to try and attract tourists or shoppers to the shop. In the beginning, I would just try to hand out fliers to as many people as possible. Most people would just take the flier and smile, some would say ‘no thanks’, and only a handful of them would actually ask you for directions to get to the store. After a while, I was able to narrow down a target market of female pedestrians with either strollers or shopping bags. But even so, it was hard to get people to actually go into the store. So, my supervisor suggested a different approach. We would go in front of stores like Kitson, Forever21, or H&M with a bag full of clothes and shoes from the sample sale. Then we would approach females, pretending as if we were just a couple of super-excited shoppers who found amazing deals at the sample sale. At first, it was really out of my comfort zone to approach people so directly. But after giving it a try a couple of times, I became more confident and the strategy was actually working!

For a company like BeachMint, that is constantly updating their inventory with new styles and designs, its natural to have some backed up inventory that doesn’t always get sold on the site. Sample sales are a great way to get rid of backed up inventory while also promoting the brand to its customers. Especially because BeachMint has a lot of loyal members, this is another method to reaching out and interacting with the company’s customer base. I absorbed and learned so much from working at the pop up shop and it has just been another part of my phenomenal experience at BeachMint.