Differentiation is more important than ever in the retail industry. New technologies make it easier for new brands to emerge, and evolving consumer behavior offers opportunities for early adopters to get an edge over the competition.
Brands opening pop-ups face the same challenges of being unique in a crowded space. What was once a forward-thinking concept has become the industry norm: Pop-ups are responsible for generating as much as $10 billion annually. Considering the fact that opening a pop-up shop is 80% less expensive than a permanent brick-and-mortar location, the rise of temporary retail isn’t so surprising.
With that, it’s crucial to find a unique pop-up space to rent that will make your brand and event stand out. We’ve rounded up nine unique pop-up spaces you can rent now in New York City.
New York’s East River Waterfront Esplanade is a desirable location in itself. An area that bustles with foot traffic — especially on beautiful days — the 1,000-square-foot space is situated right on the waterfront.
Three of four walls offer floor-to-ceiling views, while exposed ceilings and concrete floors give the interior a modern, industrial feel. The open space gives retailers the option to be creative with product displays and store layout.
The space also comes equipped with toilets, a kitchen and air conditioning (especially vital during warm summer months). It’s the perfect spot to host a launch party or pop-up event with killer views — and the chance to build brand awareness as you draw in the pedestrians passing by.
Located on the opposite side of the East River, Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood is a trendy area. Here, you’ll find high-end shops and art galleries — the perfect company for a luxury brand seeking a New York City spot for your next pop-up.
The unique pop-up rental is an expansive 4,000 square feet, steps from the Brooklyn Bridge Park. As is characteristic of many DUMBO venues, this pop-up space has incredible views of the New York City skyline, East River, and Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
An exposed ceiling, simple floors, steel pillars and bright white walls parallel the feeling of the neighborhood with its juxtaposition of rustic and modern. Rent this space if you’re a trendy, artistic brand with target customers who aren’t dissuaded by high price points. Technology brands may also do well in the area – many tech start-ups have found their home.
You’ll find yourself in Little Italy at this unique pop-up rental, which is perfect for art shows. High ceilings, stark white walls and ample lighting throughout the space will make your products and displays the star of the show.
The 1,900-square-foot space has floor-to-ceiling windows at the front, providing plenty of space to get creative with your storefront or give pedestrians a peek at the excitement inside. Right on the main Delancey Street strip, this pop-up is in the middle of a highly trafficked area.
With basic amenities included with the rental, you can host an art show or product launch that will leave a lasting impression on your customers.
Have you ever considered a CrossFit gym for your next pop-up? Though the idea may seem crazy at first, it will create an unforgettable experience. Even for brands that aren’t in the fitness industry, the Raw Warehouse provides an ideal setup for event-driven pop-ups, such as launch parties or private events.
Located in the trendy Williamsburg, the pop-up space is 2,000 square feet of exposed brick walls, super-high ceilings and diamond tread floor. Anticipate lots of natural light through large windows.
Host your new product reveal, VIP customer appreciation or rebrand launch party in this industrial-feeling space. Nightlife and fashion both thrive in this area of Brooklyn — so be ready to host a night that can stand up to the neighborhood’s lively scene.
5. Music Showroom in Williamsburg
Also in the hipster Williamsburg, this music showroom can host your next pop-up event. According to the listing, it’s a “flexible chamber hall, architecturally and acoustically designed to provide the highest-quality visual and auditory experience.” In sum, this space delivers on engaging all the senses.
What was once a sawdust factory has transformed into a modern, multisensory 2,200-square-foot space. If you’re putting on a pop-up conference, like Brit + Co’s #CreateGood event, this space can accommodate 150 seated guests (or 305 standing). Plus, you can take the hassle out of food and drink by leveraging the in-house restaurant catering services.
This spacious 4,500-square-foot loft apartment in the West Village is available for rent — but only for temporary commercial tenants. Perfect for intimate events, the apartment is located away from the hustle and bustle on the city streets. (Don’t expect much foot traffic if you’re considering the space for your pop-up retail shop.)
This unique pop-up rental space is ideal for events, such as invite-only art shows, or smaller private needs, such as a photoshoot location — note that the outdoor terrace has city views as a backdrop, while the apartment is well-lit with white walls, natural-looking wood floors and lots of windows.
Here’s an idea: Host a private launch party for your brand and showcase your products thematically. Take a cue from the store layouts and design of Anthropologie or IKEA. Anthropologie’s home goods section looks as though you can actually live in it, while IKEA sets the stage for each area of your home.
Imagine having 4,800 square feet of retail space in Chelsea Market, a highly sought-after retail mecca buzzing with shoppers. Being at a well-known shopping and foodie destination immediately puts your brand in front of new audiences. Plus, the Market is open seven days a week, so you can find retail success all week long.
One of the major advantages to this unique pop-up is access to foot traffic, making it ideal for a pop-up retail store. Offices with busy professionals surround the area, the High Line is nearby, and tourists often have Chelsea Market on their New York City itineraries. These are new customers who could turn into lifelong brand advocates.
Pro tip: Take advantage of Chelsea Market’s events and time your pop-up strategically. If there’s an event that your ideal customer would likely be interested in attending, see if the space is available for those dates.
Bryant Park, one of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, could be the venue for your next pop-up event. Plus, e-commerce brands are popping up outside of Bryant Park for New York Fashion Week.
Bryant Park is a great pop-up rental for events at any time of year. Many brands have hosted large-scale product launches here, for example. There are many spaces available, making it a feasible option for a range of brands and pop-up experiences.
We all know that pop-up shops are temporary — but some pop-ups are also mobile. That’s the case with this 270-square-foot pop-up rental on wheels. The pop-up space is a multifunctional trailer; hop in the Sprinter van and tow it where you need to go.
The space is ideal for retail brands who want to raise brand awareness or build buzz around a new product or campaign. Though it’s small in size, it comes equipped with space for a full window display, air conditioning and heat, and Wi-Fi.
One benefit of a mobile pop-up is that you can reach multiple locations (and audience segments).