Temporary storefronts can give your sales a pop-up

Pop-up retailing is a growing trend bridging the divide between online and traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Rather than tying up capital in a long-term lease, pop-up stores allow a business to temporarily operate a new physical location to generate brand awareness, take advantage of seasonal demand or test a new market.

Pop-up retail can take several forms. One common example is Halloween costume stores operating out of empty stores to seize on seasonal demand. Local craft markets or street fairs provide temporary booth or kiosk space while attracting potential customers. In downtown Seattle, Westlake Park is home to a holiday pop-up marketplace where the vendors will change each week.

New takes on pop-up retailing include making permanent spaces consistently available to pop-up stores. The high-end shopping area of Newbury Street in Boston is home to a 3,000-square-foot retail space that changes tenants every few weeks. Galleries or other spaces can diversify revenue streams by opening up to pop-up retailing events on an ongoing basis.

Is adding pop-up retailing to your business worthwhile?

If your business growth plans include any of the following, exploring pop-up options may be for you.

Launching a new product line: Pop-up stores in high-visibility areas serve as marketing channels for new offerings. While the bulk of your sales may come from your online storefront, pop-up locations allow you to showcase your product to new potential customers.

Expanding geographically: Small businesses considering a new branch or location can start with a pop-up location to generate interest and test the waters before making a substantial investment. Our region is growing and many locations that were not commercially viable a few years ago may have a critical mass of customers to justify expansion.

Targeting different market segments: Repeat customers are the best customers, but growth requires attracting new clients. If you are targeting a different market demographic, the pop-up option allows you to test marketing concepts.

Seasonal opportunity: If you have products that are weather dependent or holiday based, pop-up retail may be a far better investment than a year-round operation. Of course, busy seasons like Christmas are likely to be more expensive to secure an ideal location, so careful return on investment calculations are still needed.

Ideally your pop-up operation should drive customers to your online or permanent locations during the rest of the year.

The customer experience in your temporary shop should match or exceed the standards in your permanent storefront. You should strongly consider having experienced staff anchoring your pop-up store to build relationships with new customers. Additionally, ensure the look and feel of your pop-up location reflects your brand image.

While it may be too late to launch for this year’s holiday season, think about how this new retail trend fits into your marketing strategy for the coming year. By keeping capital costs low and customer service high, a pop-up location can help your business take the next step forward.

Ryan Davis is the dean of the Business and Applied Technology Division at Everett Community College. Please send your comments to rdavis@everettcc.edu.

More in Herald Business Journal

Alaska Airlines will buy 200 new jets over the coming decade

The purchase includes many Boeing 737 Maxs, and maybe some Airbus A321 jets.

Wells Fargo to pay $3B to resolve probes into fake accounts

The company’s reputation has never fully recovered from the sales scandal, even four years later.

No flashing lights planned for giant Port of Everett cranes

The Port sought public input on making them blue and adding lights or keeping them as they were.

Boeing asks that its big state tax break be suspended

The company hopes the move will resolve a trade dispute involving European rival Airbus.

Community leadership in an election year

Leadership is not a spectator sport, nor is citizenship. Let’s lead the way. Connect. Listen. Act.

Boeing finds debris in wing fuel tanks of several 737 Maxs

The company did not say what the objects were found, but one report said they included tools and rags.

Charge: Lynnwood tobacco smuggler dodged $1 million in taxes

The man, 57, reportedly dealt in illicit cigarettes. Tax returns claimed he sold hats and T-shirts.

Some dissent emerges on new engineering contract with Boeing

“This is being shoved down our throats,” said one SPEEA council rep.

FAA faces dilemma over 737 Max wiring flaw that Boeing missed

The vulnerability could lead to an emergency similar to the one that brought down two jets.

Everett’s new passenger terminal gets some national love

Paine Field was voted 8th-best among a selection of small airports, some of which aren’t all that small.

United pushes back expected return of grounded Boeing planes

United, Southwest and American are bracing for a second straight summer without their Max planes.

US manufacturing output hit by Boeing troubles, slips 0.1%

Excluding the production of airplanes and parts, factory production rose 0.3%.