Pop-Up Shop 101 – Why Run a Pop-Up Shop and How to Run One

In an era where novel experiences are highly valued, the pop-up economy has been flourishing.

Have you been considering starting a pop-up shop, but aren’t exactly sure what it entails or whether it would make sense for your business? Why run a pop-up shop, anyway?

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about this exciting retail phenomenon.

What Is a Pop-Up Shop?

Over the past several years, pop-up shops have become increasingly popular. What exactly is a pop-up shop, though?

While pop-up stores can look a lot like regular retail stores, these shops are distinguished by the fact that they are temporary and short-term. This is a place for brands to interact in person with current and potential future clients. This is a great opportunity for brands to create an engaging and unique physical shopping experience for their audience.

If you are a maker or own a brand that typically sells your goods through other stores, farmer’s markets, or craft fairs, a pop-up shop is a great way to explore the idea of setting up your own brick-and-mortar store. This gives you the opportunity to decide whether or not it makes sense for your brand without having to take on the full financial commitment of creating a permanent storefront from the get-go.

Why Run a Pop-Up Shop?

There are a number of great reasons why a brand might decide to run a pop-up shop.

First, it is an awesome opportunity to create an in-person connection with customers. While online shopping may be convenient, many shoppers prefer to physically see and touch a product to help them make their buying decision. This is also a wonderful chance for customers to put a more human face to the online brands that they love. One of the downfalls of online businesses is that consumers often don’t see the human side of the business. By curating an engaging pop-up shop for their customers, a brand can help integrate the consumers’ image of the brand with their social media and internet presence.

Starting a pop-up shop can also create a lot of buzz and awareness around your brand. Since your shop has a definite end date, it creates a drive in customers to check out your shop before it’s closed down. This is the sales tactic known as scarcity that can work remarkably well.

If your brand is promoting new collections or products, looking to increase overall brand awareness, or kicking off major campaigns, this approach works especially well.

You’ll want to let your customers know exactly when your pop-up shop is opening and closing. This can help to create a strong sense of urgency in your customers so that they will be driven to check out your shop while it’s physically open.

Opening a temporary pop-up shop is also a great way to test off-line selling as a sales channel. Since there is little upfront investment in starting a pop-up shop, this is a great testing ground that can give you the information you need.

Other reasons why you might run a pop-up shop include helping to drive more sales during the busy season, test new markets, gain traction in existing markets, and unload older inventory.

There are plenty of good reasons why you might want to run a pop-up shop. Now, let’s take a look at how to start one.

How to Start a Pop-Up Shop

Starting a pop-up shop can be the perfect opportunity for your business.

Plan Ahead: Design Your Experience

The first thing you will need to open a pop-up shop is a clear objective as to what you are trying to achieve. Is this an avenue for you to test out your products, get new business, build your brand, or try your hand at having a physical retail space?

Whatever your objective is, it’s important to be clear about what you’re trying to achieve. This can help to ensure that the rest of your planning goes smoothly and that you glean the information you need from the event.

You’ll want to consider what your budget is, what kind of space you will need to achieve your goals, what utilities will be necessary, if storage will be needed, and more.

Choose Your Location: How to Find Pop Up Shop Space

Picking the perfect location for your pop-up is important. There are a number of different types of locations you could consider, but first and foremost you’ll want to think about what is best for your brand, product, and purpose. Here are some of the types of spaces you might consider:

  • Shopping centers like The Crossroads Carmel
  • Event/gallery spaces
  • Co-working spaces

When deciding on a location, you will want to consider how much foot traffic the space regularly has. You’ll also want to think about what other nearby events and retailers could impact the type of traffic your pop-up store might receive.

Nuts and Bolts: Pop-Up Shop Permits, Leases, Licenses, and More

Before you secure space, you’ll want to be familiar with a number of different legal documents.

First, different regions are going to have unique regulations about pop-up shop permits. You want to research your municipality’s laws ahead of time.

Second, the most important document is the lease. This document outlines the agreement you have with the owner of the property and what you are allowed to do in the space.

Third, depending on how long your pop-up shop is open and where it’s located, it’s possible that you will need a license instead of a lease. Familiarizing yourself with the local laws can ensure that your pop-up shop is above board.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider what type of business insurance you need. Insurance coverage might be included in the rental or it might not. Consulting the rental agreement,  a risk management firm or expert could help you to understand whether or not you need to get insurance.

Promote Your Pop-Up Shop

Finally, it’s time to market your pop-up shop. You can do this by targeting media and social media influencers, writing a press release, and spreading the word on your social network.

For example, when new pop-up shops come to The Crossroads Carmel, those events are promoted on both the shopping center’s Facebook and Instagram profiles! These promotions are a great extra boost to any of the marketing efforts you may already have planned.

Are You Looking For a Retail or Pop-Up Space to Lease?

Now that you know the answer to “why run a pop-up shop?” you can decide whether or not this is the right move for your brand.

If you are an enthusiastic, creative, and energetic retailer, look no further for the perfect retail space. Learn more about leasing at The Crossroads Carmel here and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!