The 5 Types of Pop-Up Space and How to Figure Out What’s Right for You


Never done a pop-up before and getting ready for your first one this holiday season? No idea where to start and what the options are? Don’t worry, ya boy is here to help you out!

I started at Storefront just a little under a year ago and prior to that my experience was in technology. Namely in ecommerce and selling software of all different types. Commercial real estate isn’t mentioned in that list and believe me when I say that I knew nothing about it a year ago. I’m not an expert in commercial real estate at this point but I’m no slouch when it comes to picking the right place for a pop-up shop either. I’ve learned a lot talking to space owners of all types so now I’m going to share what I’ve learned with you.

Storefront is home to many different types of spaces which can make things a little overwhelming. I think the best way I can help is to break them down and tell you the advantages of each + the things you’ll need to consider. We’ll start with spaces that require the least amount of resources first, and progressively getting more resource intensive.


1. Store-Within-a-Store – Truly one of the most efficient uses of space and at the heart of the collaborative consumption movement. If I own a local store that sells clothing and I have extra space in my store, I’m more than ready to offload one of my biggest expenses… my rent. It doesn’t matter if you’re a boutique, coffee shop, bar, or restaurant. Extra space =  Opportunity for extra money. These spaces typically come as a move-in ready space with some minor decorating and set up. You’ll benefit from the regulars that visit the store and the hosts benefit from the new foot traffic you’re bringing them. It’s a win-win and we see this all the time on the site.

The Advantage: Flexibility. If you’re looking for shorter timeframes like a week or by the day, store within a store is a great option.
What to consider: Are you a good fit for the clientele and the brands that are already in the store? The owners will want to make sure it’s a match so be ready to showcase your products when you’re in discussions.


2. Kiosks & Booth Space – You’ll find these either in shopping centers or local markets. These are just what you think they are. The retailer that setups up shop in the middle of the mall where the customers are walking by. The number one rule in retail: go where your customers are! We’ve seen a huge amount of interest in kiosks & booth spaces because it requires so little setup and investment. Forecommerce retailers going offline for the first time, this is a match made in heaven. You’re telling me all I have to do is buy signage, show up with my products, make them look halfway decent on the shelving I’m provided, and then sell to people walking by? I can do this all day (even without my daily Red Bull).

The Advantage: Built-in foot traffic. Shopping centers & markets are a great way to keep new customers walking in front (and hopefully in) your store.
What to consider: What othe r retailers are going to be in your generalvacinity? Do you compliment each other or compete? Let’s hope it is the first.

3. Gallery, Event, and General Pop-up Space – Many art galleries & event spaces are in beautiful street level retail stores. Beyond that there are spaces that now just host pop-ups all the time with retailers coming and going monthly, sometimes weekly. These spaces have great flexibility with rental lengths, often times are move-in ready, and are even great for cocktail hours/parties for your top customers. You’ll likely benefit from experienced space owners that have seen many pop-ups as well!

The Advantage: You can book your dates really far in advance. If you’re a planner these spaces are for you. Because they are constantly rotating brands/event in & out they like to book up as far in advance as they can.
What to consider: Can you get primetime dates? Renters book important dates in advance so it’s very important to get a jump on these types of spaces.


4. In-Line Shopping Center Stores – You know, in malls all the stores that line the whole place? Besides the big anchor stores at the entrances, these are considered in-line spaces. They are the next step up from the kiosk and still come with the built-in foot traffic that you love. In-line spaces are usually really cost effective as well. Coming in significantly less expensive on average than our last category of spaces (I’ll get there, be patient).

The Advantage: Shopping centers already know temporary retail. They’ve been leasing out temporary space for a long time. They’ll understand your needs and will work hard to make you successful.
What to consider: Where are you going to be located in the mall and what stores will be next to you? Make sure you’re happy with your placement and the foot traffic that goes by.


5. Vacant Street Level Retail Space – Anybody who’s sold something or even just thought about it, has dreamed of having their own store! Street level storefronts represent some of the most coveted and exclusive retail spaces in the world. Know why? Because brands make it rain in these spaces. Consumers love to shop, they love an in-store experience. Of course we believe this at Storefront, and we want you to know that these spaces produce results for renters. It’s undeniable! If you’ve got the budget and you’re looking to get some new customers, you’ve arrived at your destiny.

The Advantage: Ultimate control over space located in the best shopping neighborhoods. This is playing in the big leagues!
What to consider: You might not be able to book too far in advance. Many landlords are looking for long-term tenants which means if you’re going to rent from them for the short-term, you have to be opportunistic. You’ve got good timing, right?