These big retailers are onto something smaller retailers can take advantage of, too. Here's why now is a great time to open a pop-up store: Empty space. There is an unprecedented amount of open retail space right now. Make a landlord an offer and they'll probably jump at it.
Low risk. With a pop-up, you can get a lease for a couple of months, or month-to-month. It's not a big commitment. Why, a couple of Northeastern University undergrads recently opened a pop-up store in Boston, The Concrete Jungle, to sell a new clothing line, AnnieMulz, which they created in their dorm room.
Holidays loom. Those landlords want full shops for the prime holiday season. Many stuff empty slots with pop-ups even in good times. A small shop you might operate in just November and December could add to your holiday sales without creating an ongoing overhead expense.
A chance to experiment. Temporary stores are a great way to tinker with your offerings. You can order a small amount of stock and see if it sells without spending too much.
Build awareness. As the Pita Pit experiment showed, storefronts are a form of advertising. Find a shop space at a prominent intersection, near a busy transportation hub, or in a busy mall, and get your name in front of hundreds of potential new customers.
Benefit from flexibility. When you open a pop-up, there are no expectations. Open the doors on Friday only, or only for the first week of the month, or only on weekends. Be open four hours a day. You can make your own rules here, and experiment. If your ideas work, they could be used in your permanent stores, too.
Have you opened a pop-up store, or are you planning one? Leave us a note and tell us about it.