Choosing a Location for Your Pop-Up Shop

Emma Miller
Emma Miller
Guest Contributor

Pop-up stores continue to grow in popularity, not just with brands, but with shoppers too, and there are a variety of location considerations to factor when plotting your pop-up strategies.

These days companies are mainly focused on online marketing. Raising brand awareness, engaging potential customers, or communicating with target audiences has become easy through email marketing and social media channels. Online marketing strategies are very effective and they don’t have to cost a pretty penny, but if you want to amplify the CX, it’s a good idea to start engaging your customers offline too. This is particularly important if you’re selling your products online because before making a purchase people like to touch and feel the product they’re interested in, which is why you should give them a chance to see the benefits of your products in person. A pop-up shop is an affordable and innovative retail concept that will not only boost your visibility but also offer you a glimpse into how it would be to run your own physical store. No need to stress how crucial a location is for this kind of establishment, so here are a few tips on how to find the best spot.

What to look for

If you’re still weighing whether to go for a pop-up store or not, here’s a useful stat saying that the size of this industry has grown to somewhere in the vicinity of $10 billion in sales. That answers the “why” part, so let’s focus on the “how” and “where” parts.

First of all, just like for any other retail store, the best locations are those in high foot traffic areas, and it’s even better if you find a suitable space in a shopping area, as that way you will not have to worry about driving all store traffic on your own. Besides that, before setting up your pop-up store, explore the neighborhood that you have in mind, see what other shops are there, think about what kind of demographic it aims to attract, and for what purpose people mainly visit that area – for shopping, leisure, or work. Have a background check of the space and find out what it was used for earlier and how successful that shop was.

Finally, once you’ve found a suitable location, you need to sort out a number of things before closing a deal. Have a meeting with the property managers and establish what the rental cost is and what’s included in it. Ask whether the place can be modified, who’s liable for what, and suggest getting a surety bond to guarantee that both parties will fulfill their part of the agreement.

A shopping mall

It’s only logical to set up your pop-up store in a shopping mall flooded with people eager to spend their money. This kind of location will undoubtedly bring you a lot of exposure, help you attract the attention of your potential customers, and provide your business with a certain air of credibility. Shopping malls are especially useful for acquiring new customers and showcasing your brand, but bear in mind that the rents can be higher than elsewhere. Having said that, it’s worth mentioning that high rents have increased vacancies unoccupied for long periods of time and this means that if they want to survive, shopping malls need to change their game and adapt themselves to the existing circumstances. That’s why shopping mall managements are usually willing to offer decent short-term rental prices. Renting a kiosk or booth is another option, and it will literally put you at the center of visitors’ attention.  

Street-level retail space

The situation with vacant street retail spaces is similar to that of shopping malls, and if their owners can’t sell or rent them for a certain period of time, they’re no longer opposed to leasing it short-term. This is good news for you since you can seize the opportunity and obtain a good location for your pop-up store at a reasonable price. A factor that also plays an important role in making the right decision is whether the location is a good fit with your type of business because even if it’s a busy part of the city with a lot of foot traffic, you won’t benefit from it unless it’s frequented by your target audience.

A store-within-a-store

This interesting concept comes with numerous perks. Namely, you can, in a way, partner with a store that sells complementary products and has a similar target audience. You will get not only a portion of the space, but also loyal customers that will definitely be interested in what you have to offer. Built-in traffic means that you will instantly get noticed and that you won’t have to try hard to drive your own traffic. On the other hand, the store owner will benefit from splitting the rent, so it’s a win-win situation.

A gallery

Galleries can be an amazing solution for a pop-up store, mainly because of their minimalist interior design that won’t steal your products’ thunder. Although all kinds of pop-up stores can find their place in a gallery, it’s usually the shops that specialize in handmade jewelry, arts and crafts, or fashion that are most suitable for such spaces. If you aren’t sure how this works, check out when the next similar event takes place, and visit it. You’ll be able to find out a lot simply by observing and asking participants to share their impressions and experiences about setting up a pop-up store in a gallery.

Many experts claim that pop-up stores are the future of physical retail and not just a temporary trend. This is one more reason to try your hand at this kind of retail and expand your business.  

About the writer: Emma Miller is a Sydney-based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends, Emma’s a contributor at Bizzmark blog.

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