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Pop-Up Shops Help Boost Holiday Spirits In Spain

What's the Latest Development?

This holiday season, entrepreneurial-minded Spaniards have been establishing pop-up shops called mercadillos, or "little markets," at which they offer clothing and other goods at deep discounts to the many customers who don't have much cash to spend on gifts. Some of the items come from larger retailers who have been unable to sell them, while others are sold on a consignment basis with shared profits. To help promote the wares, they rely on Facebook and other social media outlets.

What's the Big Idea?

According to a study published this month, Spaniards' Christmas spending is estimated to drop by as much as 38 percent from what was spent prior to the current economic crisis. Marketing professor Jaime Castelló suggests the mercadillos offer another alternative to department store shopping; in the same study, 25 percent of subjects said they wouldn't even go into a traditional store this season. Many of the owners have very little retail sales experience, and are often trying to get back on their feet in whatever way they can. As one put it: "[T]here comes a point in such a hopeless job market when you’ve at least got to try to reinvent yourself."

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