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Will Pop-Up Shops Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

Pop-up shops have become such a regular fixture in the retail world this year that most of us have forgotten the shopping destinations are based on being temporary.

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In the past few months alone, we’ve seen Target pop-up shops in New York, San Francisco, and Washington, giving design-collaboration fanatics a sneak peak of Rodarte for Target. West Coast sustainable-clothing line Nau has set up shop in New York’s Soho, and eBay even got in on the action, opening an interactive space on Fifth Avenue in November.

The trend has managed to trickle out of urban spaces. In the struggling economy, malls are seeing the highest store vacancies in 17 years, and filling those spaces, even temporarily, is an appealing fix for shopping centers. This year, Toys “R” Us opened pop-ups in more than 80 malls across the nation.

So when is pop-up shop fatigue going to set in? According to Women’s Wear Daily, it already has.

WWD predicts that once the economy recovers, pop-up shops will be left behind, becoming a distant memory of 2009. As the novelty is wearing off–they are in malls, after all–the buzz typically generated is dwindling, too.

It’s not unlikely that online pop-up boutiques, generated by Web sites like Gilt Groupe and RueLaLa–which will generate more than $70 million in revenue this year and was recently acquired by GSI Commerce for $350 million–are partly to blame. The invitation-only sites not only offer exclusive deals and availability on overstocked designer duds, but also are accessible from the comfort of your own home–and for dedicated shoppers who stood in 25 degree weather to get a piece of the Rodarte for Target line, that’s an appealing alternative.

Pop-up shops won’t magically disappear when 2010 arrives, but their fate rests largely on the shoppers–so, will you keep lining up?

[Via WWD]

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