Two months after its opening, the Tepperman’s Furniture pop-up store in an Ancaster, Ontario, mall closed without selling a single appliance or piece of furniture.
Andrew Tepperman is delighted with the pop-up’s success.
That’s because the pop-up, filled with 35,000 square feet of product, was never created to sell furniture. Instead, it was designed to sell something else. Passersby were invited to apply for jobs at Tepperman’s newest store opening in a nearby former Sears building.
By that measure, the pop-up was a hit. Nearly all of Tepperman’s 50 employees at the new store, which opened in August, came through applications from people who stopped by the pop-up.
“I never thought it would be as big a hit as it was,” Andrew Tepperman says. “It was a huge success.”
How big a success? If a suitable space can be found, Tepperman plans on opening future pop-up stores to attract employees when his company expands again.
Tepperman said his company got a “sweet deal” for a two-month lease on a 3,000-square-foot store at the Lime Ridge Mall. The space, with its floor-to-ceiling glass walls, had been vacated earlier in the year by an accessories store.
Telling the Tepperman’s story
Tepperman’s staff filled the showroom with furniture and appliances like you’d find in any Tepperman’s store. They also included company brochures and a big-screen TV that told the story of Tepperman’s 94-year history for applicants unfamiliar with the Tepperman’s brand.
The first sales associate hired from the pop-up store went to work immediately with the new store’s general manager and human resources manager at the pop-up store to interview the rest of the applicants coming through.
The “store” was also designed to get shoppers to sign up for the store’s $5,000 Grand Opening prize. It wanted to opt shoppers in for future emails and get them approved for credit for when the real store opened. “If they’re pre-approved they’re much more likely to shop with us,” Tepperman says.
Tepperman came up with the idea after previous job fairs at hotels didn’t fare so well. Tepperman’s hired strong male sales associates during his company’s hotel job fairs, which were held in hotel rooms. “But we found female sales associates weren’t comfortable with that environment,” said Tepperman. “The pop-up is so wide-open and comfortable that wasn’t a problem anymore.”
Tepperman’s only regret is that the pop-up wasn’t wired for his company’s point of sale system. “We never intended to sell, but we could have sold a lot,” he said. “Maybe next time.”
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