By Global Business Development Manager, Nancy Evans


Our Global Business Development Manager, Nancy Evans, provides an insight to The Healthy Back Bag in Japan

Japan, a population of 126 million and a people of discerning taste when it comes to quality and feature-rich brands, is the undisputed birthplace of pop-up shops aka fairs.            

Whilst people in the US and elsewhere have just recently embraced the power of the Pop-Up, this has been a viable retail platform in Japan for years and is now considered a sustainable trend.


Since no two pop-ups are created equal, this limited time only space is sure to create a buzz, a sense of urgency and at-once purchases. And securing the ‘right’ space is no easy task as the competition for the best real estate can be fierce. As the experts say: ‘location, location, location.’ In addition to high profile department stores, they are equally successful in off the beaten track lifestyle shops in rural locations.

The set-up is nothing short of fast and furious taking place when the store is closed (often dark!) leaving two windows of opportunity; after 10 PM or before opening at 6 AM. Picture a small, nimble team building out a store in less than 3 hours.

In an average window of two weeks, you can expect to see a full assortment of the brand, interact with trained staff and encounter lots of visuals and brand information (no story too long).

The advantages are many and not limited to connecting brand and consumer, building awareness offline and testing new markets all in venues cheaper than traditional, permanent retail space.

These otherwise temporary locations can show up in the most unusual of places like in the center of Shibuya metro station, the 3rd busiest in Tokyo with 2.4 million people passing thru on an average weekday.  Whether commuters or tourists, everyone is on the go and has a common need for… a bag that moves with them.  Enter NeWoman (pronounced Newman).  After proven success, this is a re-occurring pop-up.


At 6+ months and still going strong, Odakyu Shinjuku is a personal favourite since my picture is on the wall of fame that proudly displays the brand timeline.

Pop-ups can also increase a brand’s ‘cool factor’ as is the case with Loft, a variety store attracting the young female to a wide array of accessible cosmetics, lifestyle accessories and snacks.


Litmus test for success you ask?

When a pop-up looks and sells like a monobrand shop, the perfect example being Diamor Osaka.

A must see when visiting Japan, everyone should experience both sushi for breakfast at the Toyosu fish market along with a stop at an authentic pop-up shop.

*And for those inquiring minds, ポップアップ・ストア translates to pop-up shop, a welcoming mix of English and Japanese.


Global Business Development Manager

Nancy Evans has over 26 years experience with premium brands rich in heritage. Her journey began in sales management with Hartmann Luggage, followed by various roles with Victorinox Travel Gear, then as VP Marketing of Columbia Sportswear bags and later Nike’s Business Director of US bags and subsequently a global merchandising role overseeing bag specialty. Nancy initially joined The Healthy Back Bag Company with a brief to develop European distribution, and in 2007 her role expanded when she was appointed Global Business Development Manager. Nancy’s expertise spans lifestyle, luxury, sport/athletic and outdoor products, and she is actively involved in design, development and product marketing all while seeking out new markets to add to the company’s current distribution in 27 countries worldwide.

A lover of great brands, all things outdoor, cooking/eating and of course, international travel, Nancy makes her home in Salem, Oregon USA.

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