7 Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Pop-Up Store

What is a pop-up shop? Everything you need to know to try short-term retail > How to set up a pop-up shop in 6 stages. Set yourself up for success with this handy checklist > 12 Tips for Planning a Pop-Up Store > How To Open A Pop-Up Store > 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Pop-Up Store

Creating a pop-up store can give your brand a huge advantage. From building deeper connections with your customers, to curating a unique customer experience, many benefits have motivated today’s top brands to turn to creative retail tactics. Pop-up shops can quickly generate buzz and excitement and can pique the interest of your current and potential customers.  

Though opening a pop-up store may seem spontaneous in nature, the planning process is anything but. Like any new business venture, planning a successful pop-up store takes a lot of careful planning and strategizing. It requires a number of tasks that might go outside of your typical day-to-day operations, which means that some of those well-needed details can easily be forgotten.

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Here are some of the common mistakes that are made when planning a pop-up store

Opening a pop-up store can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. There are a lot of things to consider and a lot of potential pitfalls. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most common mistakes to avoid when opening a pop-up store. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure your business venture is successful!

1. Ignoring the Location

The location of your pop-up store is critical to its success. Because pop-up shops typically run for just a short time period, you want to attract as much foot traffic as possible during that time. Your store’s location can make or break the number of customers you generate, how much they purchase and your total sales. Just because a particular shopping area is often busy however, doesn’t guarantee that your shop will thrive. Be sure to identify your target customer. What neighborhoods do they hang out in? Where do they like to shop? Answering these questions should help you identify the best location for your pop-up store.

You may also want to consider events that will be occurring around the time of your pop-up store. Music festivals, seasonal markets, or sporting events are all great opportunities to set up a nearby shop. With all the commotion created by the ongoing event, you’re sure to gain a ton of residual traffic.

Inside MM.LaFleur’s pop-up tour around the country.

2. Neglecting Zoning and Inspection Requirements

Though this might seem obvious, you’d be surprised to learn how many people fail to file the proper permits needed to run a pop-up store. Once you’ve selected a location, research the space and find out about any zoning and commercial requirements in that area. You’ll also have to apply for a business license in order to legally sell goods. This is regulated city by city, but the process will likely require both a fire and building inspection.

If you’re planning on serving alcohol at your pop-up store, you may need to apply for a liquor license. The rules around serving alcohol vary by city, but public short-term retail events typically require a short-term liquor license. If you’re hosting a private event to kick off your pop-up store however, a license probably won’t be needed.

Accurately meeting these requirements is critical. Failure to comply to your city’s regulations may cause your shop to be shut down and can ruin your chances to hold pop-up events in the future.

3. Forgetting to Promote Your Store

Just because you’ve built it, doesn’t mean they will come. The novelty of your pop up shop may attract a steady flow of traffic for a while, but it certainly won’t be enough to ensure long-term success. You’ll need a solid marketing plan that can sustain throughout the entire time your pop-up shop is open.

[Click here for our top guide on how to build buzz for your pop-up store!]

Be sure to heavily promote your pop-up store on social media. Facebook is a great platform to hint at the launch in the weeks leading up to the shop, and Instagram and Twitter are great for “in the moment” updates once you’re open. Reaching out to local influencers, bloggers and press can also help spread the word to a vast network of eager shoppers.

3. Skipping Out on a Proper Budget

Many brands want their pop-up store to be the most extravagant and unique experience for their customers and are often willing to pay a fortune to do so. In many circumstances however, especially for small and medium sized businesses, this isn’t an effective business strategy. If you’re hoping to generate a sufficient amount of revenue from your pop-up shop, be sure to lay out a budget before you start planning. Leave room for any unanticipated costs, and hold yourself to your initial budget. In the long run, your business will be rewarded for saving.

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If you’re looking to extend your budget as far as possible, try DIY-ing your decor or rallying a few local businesses to sponsor the event. Not only will this save you a good portion of your budget, but also adds a personal touch and local flair.

Cadbury worked with Storefront to DIY their latest pop-up store.

If executed properly, a pop-up store can be an effective revenue booster for your business. Set a few key objectives and remember these key details, and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits. Make sure to set aside a bit of time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Learn from any mistakes, and take note of the elements that made your pop-up a hit so you can set up shop all over again!

5. Inadequate Staffing

Having enough staff on hand is essential for any pop-up store, as it helps ensure that customers are well taken care of, and their questions are answered. Not having enough staff could lead to customers waiting for long periods, leading to them leaving without making a purchase. This is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid when opening a pop-up store. Another is not doing enough research on the location and target audience. Knowing who will be visiting the store and understanding the local environment are important steps for making sure your pop-up store is successful. Finally, make sure you have a solid marketing plan in place.

Getting the word out about your pop-up is key to driving customers to your store. Taking the time to plan ahead and avoiding these common mistakes can help ensure that your pop-up store has a successful run! Having inadequate staffing can lead to long wait times and waiting lines, which can put potential customers off from visiting your pop-up store. This is one of the most common mistakes to avoid when opening a pop-up store, as having too few staff members leads to an inefficient customer experience. Additionally, opting for a location without enough foot traffic or not doing enough promotional activities can also prevent your pop-up store from having the desired success and impact. Make sure you have the right number of staff and that the pop-up store is in a location that will attract customers, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful pop-up store.

Finally, when planning to open a pop-up store, it’s important to consider the number of customers you will have and plan accordingly. Making sure your staff can accommodate the amount of people you expect is essential. When opening a pop-up store, it’s important to make sure that not making this mistake is a priority. Having inadequate staffing can severely hinder success in a business venture, and it’s important to avoid this mistake when opening a pop-up store.

6. Failing to Collect Data

Collecting data about visitors to your pop-up store is essential to understand customer preferences and informing future decisions. This can be done through surveys, special offers, and collecting contact information. Another mistake to avoid when opening a pop-up store is not having enough inventory. You don’t want to disappoint customers by not having enough of an item they’re looking for. Make sure to plan ahead and have enough of each item to meet the expected demand. Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of a great customer service experience.

Make sure your team is trained and prepared to interact with customers and provide a memorable experience. To avoid making mistakes when opening a pop-up store, think ahead and plan accordingly. This will ensure your pop-up store is a successful one! Without this data, you won’t be able to measure the success of your store or adapt it to customer feedback. When opening a pop-up store, it’s important to make sure you have reliable ways to collect customer data. This could be anything from customer surveys to POS systems that track sales and inventory. Additionally, failing to plan for potential problems that might come up can lead to a less-than-stellar customer experience. It’s also important to research the local market and competition to choose the best location for your store. If you don’t have the right strategy in place, you could be setting yourself up for failure.

In the end, having all the necessary data and the right plan in place will help make your pop-up store a success. Thereafter, it is important to ensure a system is in place for collecting customer information such as email addresses or contact details. This data can be invaluable for assessing the success of your pop-up store and measuring customer satisfaction. Developing a strategy to collect this information from the start will give your business insight into how successful the pop-up was and help you make informed decisions about similar pop-ups in the future.

7. Ignoring Customer Feedback

Ignoring customer feedback can be detrimental to your pop-up store’s success, as it can have a negative impact on customer loyalty and retention. Other mistakes to avoid when opening a pop-up store include not conducting enough market research before opening, not having a clear plan in place, not budgeting properly, not having enough staff to adequately serve customers, and not having the right inventory in stock. Taking the time to plan ahead, gather the necessary resources, and focus on providing an excellent customer experience can help ensure that your pop-up store is successful.

By proactively responding to customer feedback, you can ensure that customers feel valued and appreciated. This is just as important at a pop-up store as any other aspect of running a business. To avoid issues and problems, take customer feedback seriously, ensure your employees are trained to provide quality customer service and make sure the atmosphere is inviting and welcoming. Additionally, ensure that the merchandise you offer is of quality and that you have enough in stock to meet customer demand. Finally, be aware of the local business and security regulations to avoid unnecessary fines or legal issues.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your pop-up store is a success! Meanwhile, understanding what works and what doesn’t is key when opening a pop-up store. Gathering customer feedback is a must-do to ensure your venture is successful. By collecting and analyzing customer feedback, you can make data-driven decisions to improve the overall experience at your pop-up store. With this approach, you can avoid common pitfalls so that your customers have the best experience possible.


In conclusion, running a successful pop-up store involves more than just setting up a shop. You must be aware of the local regulations related to business and security to avoid any unnecessary fines or legal issues. Additionally, understanding what works and what doesn’t is key. Collecting and analyzing customer feedback is vital to make data-driven decisions that will ensure your customers have the best experience possible. By following these tips, you can ensure that your pop-up store is a success!

Learn How To Build Buzz For Your Pop-Up Store Here

Rohan Singh
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