UK shoppers
Pop-up retailers are playing a vital role in the UK economy Reuters

Pop-up retailers contribute up to £2.1bn to the UK's economy each year and that figure is expected to grow rapidly.

A report from telecoms company EE and economists CEBR shows this surprisingly high sum will grow by 8.4% over the next 12 months – almost 2.5 times faster than the traditional retail market.

This will be driven by greater consumer spending, with shoppers set to increase their average spend from £110 ($188, €139) to £120 per visit – and they will purchase items more regularly too.

"These figures demonstrate the important role pop-up retail is playing in the UK economy but we're only at the beginning of this pop-up revolution," said Richard Lim, head of business information at the British Retail Consortium.

"The novel use of these temporary spaces showcases the innovative nature of UK retail,
which continues to adapt to consumer demands and structural changes occurring throughout
the industry."

According to EE, more than 23,000 people work across the 10,000 pop-up stores in the UK and the industry is the fastest in its sector.

The study reveals pop-up stores could easily be in for double-digit growth if the sector can overcome a few obstacles.

The largest stumbling blocks that lie ahead include the lack of flexible, short-term contracts, finding the right space for retailers, high rates and rents, and a lack of technology – with the report specifically highlighting the point that retailers have to wait two weeks for internet access.

Ross Bailey, CEO of Appear Here, a renter of space for pop-up shops, said: "There's much more support needed to help pop-ups achieve their true potential, particularly from the government."