Savvy independent retailers can reap massive rewards by setting up pop-up shops to cash in on key selling trends, shopkeepers and analysts alike have discovered.

With more empty stores on the high street than ever before, retailers can boost sales by creating short-term, pop-up shops to help them trade in new or unusual markets during busy shopping periods, according to research from Hitachi Consulting.

“Pop-up shops provide retailers with a wide range of benefits and market opportunities, without having to enter a long-term property commitment,” said Chris Gates, Hitachi Consulting’s director of retail.

Des Barr, of Sinclair Barr Newsagent’s in Paisley, Scotland, is one retailer that made a huge success of a pop-up, when he set one up in December to sell the last ever copy of the Dandy comic.

“I had never done anything like this before, but from the number of customers that were asking for a copy of the issue, I knew there was a big opportunity to do something special,” said Mr Barr. “I invested £100,000 in buying 50,000 copies – which was the amount that the publisher was originally printing for the whole of the country,” he said.

Mr Barr then opened a temporary outlet at Braehead Shopping Centre near Glasgow and shifted more than 1,000 copies in his first few hours of trading. In total, he sold around 49,000 copies of the £3.99 comic during the few weeks the pop-up shop was open.

“We had to overcome some obstacles to make this work, but all in all, it was absolutely worth it,” he said.