POP venue illustration

Source: Product Guru

Product discovery platform Product Guru is to launch a physical store in London which will “expose emerging brands to hundreds of industry stakeholders”.

The store, called Pop, will showcase challenger brands from several retail categories, with food and drink the focus for six days in September.

Visitors to the Islington site will include retail buyers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, investors, journalists and influencers, according to Product Guru. They will be able to browse products and use in-store technology to access product data, brand videos, and request samples as they would on Product Guru’s online platform.

“As we strive to help brands find their route to market, we’re very excited to launch Pop, our new concept store events to get brands in front of hundreds of key market players,” said Simon Coyle, founder and CEO of Product Guru.

“We’re taking the best aspects of trade shows, maximising the power of hybrid interactions, and creating an entirely new, tech-powered, cost-effective, targeted event for exposing brands to the whole industry,” he added. 

The company said more than 100 brands across all categories had pre-registered for the Pop store ahead of the launch.

Product discovery platforms are a relatively new concept in retail, and offer an alternative to trade shows, cold calls and in-person pitching. US product discovery platform RangeMe, which counts Walmart, Walgreens, Whole Foods Market and Albertsons as users on the buyer side, launched in the UK last summer.

Product Guru launched in 2018 and in November 2019 secured a £330,000 investment following a significant increase in sign-ups. Usage grew 50% through lockdown, the platform said. The company runs around 300 virtual events per year, which it says are attended by retailers including Tesco, Asda, Aldi, John Lewis, Waitrose, Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Very, Superdrug, Holland & Barrett, Selfridges and WH Smith.

“The industry has been crying out for more opportunities to discover true product innovation and be inspired – this is what we’re offering with Pop,” Coyle said. 

“Our partners are eager to see this unique, curated experience coming to life, where all the key market players can experience product innovation first-hand,” he added.