One of the most

innovative concepts

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

really interesting. 

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

as needed.

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

the weekend.

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

from silk.

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

retail business.

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

she ran.

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

commercial spaces.

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

for you.

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

closeout sources.

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.