Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

The Pop-Up Sensation: 5 Benefits of Pop-Up Stores

Published on Sep 2, 2010

Summary

Read 'The Pop-Up Sensation: 5 Benefits of Pop-Up Stores' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Open-for-businessWhen I think of the pop-up store operation, I think of Halloween Express. The costume shop and everything-Halloween franchise appears, of course, around Halloween,  in once-empty spaces in malls and in gigantic tents in parking lots. And then Poof! ... They're gone. These days, pop-up stores seem to be gaining ground - even with the big brands. Just look at Pop Tarts World in New York City's Time Square. The sweet treat discovered a temporary home there earlier this month. Dan Adamson and Brian Goldenman, founders of Farm Boy & Girl, also started out as a sort of pop-up. They didn't go the route of testing their product at the mall. They went to where their particular product would get the most play - the Minnesota State Fair - one of the largest gatherings of farm community members and livestock owners in the nation. They were peddling the country version of Abercrombie merchandise - T-shirts and hats with slogans featuring farm flair. Needless to say their fairgound test market cultivated a hit! Virtually any retailer can utilize pop-up stores to spark some excitement and generate buzz around a new product launch. Pop-up stores are ideal for checking the consumer pulse and seeing how the public reacts to a new product. With the holidays right around the corner, the pop-up location might not be such a bad idea. Here are five benefits of pop-up locations:
  1. Minimal risk. Perfect for those of you out there afraid of commitment, pop-ups are the way to go. You don't have to commit to a long-term lease in most cases and are likely to lease month to month.
  2. Holiday traffic. When you open up your tacky holiday sweater store, please let me know. My holiday mission is always to find the scariest and the tackiest. If you already dabble in retailing holiday-specific items, you may use a temporary location to unload some merchandise to spike sales without creating additional overhead expense.
  3. Test lab. Order a small amount of inventory to try out on customers. The pop-up location serves as a perfect active laboratory for experimentation with changing inventory or testing new product in a new market.
  4. Brand awareness. Get your name and merchandise in front of people by pinpointing a high-traffic area temporarily.
  5. Size. If you're sure you'd like to open a new site, you can experiment with different-sized stores to audit how much space you actually need.
Have you previously opened a pop-up store or are you planning on one for the holiday season? What advice would you give to small business owners looking to start their own business by opening a pop-up?