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Pop-up stores are popping up everywhere.
The pop-up retail phenomenon, once known as flash retailing, has grown in recent years. A pop-up store is a short-term, temporary business that sets up shop in an unused open space, storefront, or within an existing store. It is rented for a fraction of the cost of a long-term space and is a cost-efficient way for a retailer to increase its brand awareness and make a profit. A retailer will rent a pop-up space for as little as one day to upwards of a few months.
Standalone pop-ups come in many shapes and sizes and are found at different locations. They can include vendors, restaurants, and exhibits. Pop-ups sell almost anything: books, art, clothing, cosmetics and beauty supplies, jewelry, music, art, food, and seasonal items. They are set up where there is much foot traffic (due diligence will help a retailer choose an accessible, busy location.) These pop-ups can be located in a marketplace–such as a stand at a crafts fair or farmer’s market–or inside a shopping mall that embraces pop-ups as a way to fill vacancies and keep shoppers coming back. They can also operate as a gallery space, standalone kiosk, college campus store, a collection of tables in a parking lot or on a side street, a booth or a tent in a public park or town square, or a food truck or motorized vehicle.
While the concept is popular among small business owners, major retailers such as Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Ann Taylor, Nike, Target, and Lexus have integrated pop-up concepts into their marketing strategies to extend their brands.
An example is Toys “R” Us, which has 30 outlet center pop-up stores. Toys “R” Us started opening pop-up outlets in 2010. On July 1, it opened a new location at the Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls, NJ. Its outlet stores average 2,500 to 5,000 square feet. The store features products not found at its brick-and-mortar or online sites.
A building owner is likely to be willing to rent out storefront space to a pop-up retailer for a short time rather than not rent it out at all. Also, the owner still has the chance to book a higher-paying tenant later on.
Another pop-up trend is the “store within a store” in which space is rented to a retailer within an established store. This helps the store owner offset rent. In this scenario, pop-up retailers often will match their wares with the building owner’s merchandise.
An example is at Nordstrom, which hosts its own “[email protected]” specialty pop-up shops, which are a recurring series of retail products not typically found in a Nordstrom store. Jewelry retailer BaubleBar, which began as an e-commerce retailer, opened a pop-up within Nordstrom department stores before recently expanding into its own retail shops. And in 2015, London-based designer goods retailer Liberty set up within five U.S. Nordstrom locations. Another example is in New York City, where menswear retailer Rothman’s added a 750-square foot pop up shop inside its Park Avenue location to host emerging designer brands. Rothman’s rotates its pop-up tenant every six weeks. Other retailers such as Best Buy and Sears have also been successful integrating pop-ups.
There are a number of benefits to pop-ups. They can provide a starting point for someone just starting out in retail who is looking to generate brand awareness or experiment selling different products. They also give a digital retailer an opportunity to engage its customer’s offline.
Customer engagement is a strong reason to open a pop-up shop. As with commercial real estate, location is the key. A pop-up retailer has the advantage of identifying locations where customers are most likely to be, thus providing built-in foot-traffic. Scouting out the location will also identify if there is parking nearby and whether the location is accessible by public transit.
A pop-up space provides a move-in ready small space without the concerns of committing to a long-term lease, getting insurance, managing staff, and operating much equipment. Typically there are fewer costs on inventory, equipment, physical appearance, and labor. Some pop-ups serve as stepping-stones to permanent business locations, thus helping a local economy.
A critical step for a pop-up store is having a budget. This includes budgeting for inventory and rent, the design of the space, marketing and promotion, a window display and signage, Internet access, and even food and beverages for customers.
There are pop-up pitfalls. Some of the most common are the wrong location; not promoting the event on social media; not distributing flyers and promotional material in nearby cafes and shops; not having a launch event (think food and balloons); not having a window display or signage; not installing Wi-Fi; not having a welcoming atmosphere; not scheduling setup and breakdown time; and staying in a location too long.
There are organizations that help pop-up shops get set up. Launched in 2012, Chicago-based PopUp Republic has helped promote 30,000 pop-up shops, restaurants, events, and spaces and has worked with large brands to create and execute pop-up concepts. Pop-up retailers can visit PopUpInsider.com for lists of available pop-up spaces, and Storefront.com helps brands find temporary retail space from commercial real estate owners. Popupmarketplace.com allows property owners in need of tenants to list their temporary pop-up spaces. New York-based Lionesque Group is a pop-up architect and has produced award-winning pop-up shops for large brands.
According to a PopUp Republic poll, pop-up shoppers look for unique services and products, localized assortments, optimal pricing, convenience, and a fun experience.
For Washington D.C. business owners who lack resources and finances, pop-ups provide a viable and creative alternative to an expensive retail space. Recently, Washington D.C. pop-ups have grown in appeal. For example, in June digital fashion retailer ModCloth set up a pop-up inside the old Urban Chic space in Georgetown for a one-month stint. Today, Washington D.C. pop-ups offer products and services that include fashion, cosmetics, arts and crafts, farmer’s markets, beads and jewelry, eateries, coffee, chocolate, bike repair, and even supper clubs.
Both small and large retailers are embracing the pop-up trend. A pop-up store is an exciting and creative way for new retailers to test the waters, or for existing retailers to expand their niche. Having a brand, budget, and a location will give retailers the keys they need to pop-up success.
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village