One of the most
to recently hit the
retail market is
the pop up store.
A pop up store is a temporary
shop that is set up for a specific
A pop up store can be set up in a
temporary location because of a
street fair that will be taking place,
or it might set up in an empty
store front so that a sample sale
can be run.
You can set up a pop
store in a flea market,
at a religious event, or
outside of a sport's stadium.
The concept of a pop up store is
In essence it is used to
bring merchandise directly to
customers without having
to commit to a permanent location.
The advantages to the retailer
include the fact that they can test
out a location without committing
to rent out the space on an annual
In addition, the retailer can easily
move his pop store to other locations
For example, a dress boutique might
open up a pop shop in a downtown
location to coincide with a
business conference that is taking place
over the weekend.
The pop up shop can benefit from the
influx of businesswomen that will
be attending the conference over
Once the conference is over the
pop up shop can be closed
and either moved to the next place
where a conference will take place,
or simply cease its operations until
another opportunity presents itself.
Another benefit of pop up shops
is that they allow retailers, manufacturers,
and brands, to test out a new product
or concept in the market.
Let's say Calvin Klein wants
to test out the potential of
an evening wear shop in Lagos, Nigeria.
It can commit to renting out
a store for the year, which might
not be a wise move if people don't
end up shopping at the store.
Or, it can set up a pop up store
and see how shoppers respond to
its retail concept.
If Calvin Klein sees that shoppers love
its dresses then it can set up
a permanent location.
Or maybe a manufacturer wants to
start producing office suits made
The manufacturer can set up a pop
shop in a business district and
test out the customer
demand for silk office suits.
If people buy them then the manufacturer
will know that it's a good idea
to start producing those suits.
Now while I do think
this is an amazing business
model, it does have its
There are disadvantages to opening
up pop up stores, and they are as
The rent that you will pay
for a temporary location is
usually higher than what you
would pay for the same location
on an annual basis.
The landlord realizes that
he will have to look
for a tenant after you
leave so he will seek
the maximize the amount of
rent that he will collect from you.
The landlord might feel like
he is doing you a favor by
agreeing to rent the space to
you for a short period of time.
If your store works out really well,
and customers love shopping by you,
you are still limited by the temporary nature
of the location.
Once the time is up for the location
you will have to close
the store even if there is a big demand
for what you are selling.
Also, using a pop up business model
makes it hard to develop a
loyal following among customers.
First of all your customers
can only shop by you if they
know where you are located,
and second of all, people forget
what they don't see on a regular basis.
People will forget
about your shop if you are
always moving to a new
I would recommend that you
take down the contact information
of your customers so that you
can let them know where your
next location will be.
Ideally you should have a website
where they can register through
and be updated with information
throughout the year.
Having presented to you
some of the downside,
you should know
that there is still a great deal of
potential in running a pop up
You get to set up where and when
you want, your rent is only due
for the periods in which you
are open, and you can benefit
from the excitement of
being the new business in town.
I had a customer that specialized
in opening up pop locations in
She would purchase overstock
brand name women's clothing
from me and then sell it
as part of sample sales which
Each location would be open
for approximately 2 weeks,
during which she would have flyers
distributed all over the area.
Shoppers would come in really
excited to see what was available
during the sample sale,
and since her prices were
at least 50% below retail
she would do pretty well.
If you want to try out this
business model I would recommend
the following to you.
Reach out to landlords of empty
You can find these empty commercial
spaces by driving around your neighborhood
or by calling local real estate agents.
Then propose to rent out the space
for a limited time.
I would recommend that you
cover yourself in case the
location is a blockbuster.
Ask the landlord for the option
to rent the space on
an annual basis if the
location works out really
You should also ask the
landlord to give you a
good deal on the spot
since otherwise it will
remain empty until
he finds a permanent
Once you have secured a space
you will want to get in touch
with your wholesale and
You will want to focus
on brand name and designer
merchandise which you
can sell for at least
50% below the regular retail price.
Another approach is to focus
on unique brand name wholesale
merchandise that is not otherwise
available in the area.
Next, you will want to
take out ads in local newspapers
and have people distribute
flyers to people in the area.
In order for this to work
I would recommend that you
rent your space in a high traffic
You don't have the time to wait to
build up a clientele because you
only have the spot for a limited
amount of time, which is why
you want to be in a high traffic
Once you refine your strategies
and see that they work
you can set up your temporary
shop in another location.