How to Open up a Pop Up Retail Store

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A pop up retail store is a shop that opens up for a short amount of time in different locations. It can be seen as an exclusive shop since it is open for a limited time. Celebrities including Kanye West and the boys of One Direction have opened up their own pop up shops in order to sell their albums and merchandise as have top designers and brands. Pop up retail shops gives you the chance to sell more merchandise than you would otherwise since you can attract more attentive shoppers. It will also cost you less since pop up shops can cost as little as $50 a day in terms of rental space, if you find the right location. Choosing to set up a pop up shop can also allow you to test the market in order to find the best neighborhood or city for a permanent location. These short term shops also work well around the holiday season since they’ll allow you to open quickly and shut down just as quickly.
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Starting your own pop up retail store is similar to the way you’d start a normal business. You’ll want to create a concept from beginning to end, find the space, promote your business, and make a profit.

Design Your Shop and the Experience

While a pop up shop comes seemingly out of nowhere, your idea should take a bit of planning. Start by creating a concept based on what you want to sell. You should then consider a budget for opening your shop so you know how much to look for in rent, supplies, and staff. Logistics should also be decided at this point. Decide how you’ll take payments, how you’ll get your stock to the store, and how you’ll run the business overall.

You’ll also want to figure out how you want to set up your store. At this point you don’t have a location yet but it’s good to have an idea of what products you’ll feature, how much of each item you’ll want on hand, the type of lighting you want to use, and the overall décor or theme.

Finally, a pop up retail shop is primarily a storefront, but the beauty of a pop up shop is that you can do a lot more with it. You can host events and even bring in entertainers to drum up business and make your shop feel more like an exclusive experience that consumers want to be a part of. Think about fun ideas that will draw in customers and somehow fit into your brand.

Find the Proper Space

Once you have all of your particulars worked out and you’ve developed a pretty sound business plan, you can begin to look for spaces to rent. Study the demographics of a few areas and see which one has your target customer base, the best visibility, good foot traffic, and a low crime rate. You can then look at specific retail locations and talk to leasing companies about renting space. For example, Westfield Specialty Leasing rents out retail space in shopping centers across the US and specialises in pop up retail. Shop around for a price that fits your budget in the location of your preference.

Promote Your Store

Once you find your space you should start promoting your business. Social media promotion is popular nowadays. Create an event invitation for the grand opening on Facebook, make an official Facebook and Twitter account to engage with customers, and start an Instagram account with photos of the shop being set up to get people excited about the business.

You should also make sure that you do physical promotions as well, like passing out flyers and posting a sign (if allowed) on the outside of your location to announce the future opening of the shop. If you’re planning to do any special events you should promote that, too as it may drum up more attention than the shop alone.

Open Up for Business

Throw a grand opening party complete with passed hors d’oeuvres and drinks (if allowed on the property) and create special sales for the people in attendance. You can also pass out coupons for future purchases in order to keep these first-time customers coming back.

Take the time to educate your customers about your brand and your products. If you create your own products by hand be sure that everyone knows this since it will lend to the exclusivity of your shop. Similarly, make sure your staff know these facts, too, so they can better sell merchandise. Be sure to collect email addresses for customers in order to reach out to them after the pop up shop closes. This is especially important if you have an online shop that will remain open once the brick and mortar store closes.

If you’re ready to set up a pop up retail shop, keep these start-up tips in mind in order to create a successful short-term business.


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