Retailers big and small jump on the pop-up bandwagon | Crain's

Retailers big and small jump on the pop-up bandwagon

Luciana Bueno sells home goods, fashion, jewelry and original work from photographers, painters and sculptors out of this repurposed Airstream trailer in Miami, Fla. | Photo courtesy of PopUpStream

Whether it's edible cookie dough, ugly Christmas sweaters or the deal of the day on Amazon's Treasure Truck, retailers of all sizes are turning to pop-up shops.

That's because pop-ups offer emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to test a product and develop their audience, while allowing larger brands to generate buzz through a unique form of marketing.

“[Pop-ups] have solidified themselves as a valid operating paradigm in retailing,” said David Loranger, an assistant professor of retail merchandising at the University of Minnesota.

He explained that the trend capitalizes on at least two growing demographics: baby boomers, who may have more discretionary income in retirement, and millennials, who tend to seek out customization and a memorable experience. Pop-ups also impart a sense of urgency in shoppers, due to their temporary nature.

“Customers are interested in fresh merchandise, unfamiliar brands — or collaborations or takes on brands — and a lack of a sense of permanence, which leads to a fear of missing out,” Loranger said.

From restaurants to pharmacies to wireless carriers, here's a look at the wide variety of businesses taking advantage of the pop-up model around the U.S.


The Northeast

Local artists pop-up shop to boost community, economic development

Squeezed by pricey real estate, Boston retailers bank on pop-up shops

Santa is the secret to this pop-up bar's success

The South

Pop-ups provide platform for Atlanta-area artists

Vineyards, breweries and food trucks make a profitable pairing

Raleigh pop-up shop offers digital company a chance to connect with members

Spooky season fuels these Central Florida businesses

Edible cookie dough shop takes on Nashville's sweet tooth

Uncorked: Pop-up wine events and tastings fill the Queen City

Pop-ups crop up in Miami's vibrant art scene

The Midwest

Retailers to bring pop-up shops to St. Louis region for the holidays

Popping up: Major Minnesota retailers try temporary stores

Enterprising chefs dream big at Smallman Galley


Need an ugly Christmas sweater? This Texas pop-up shop has you covered

Restaurants, boutiques – even pharmacies – are deploying pop-ups

Pop-up shops bring customers in tune with brands at Austin City Limits

Mountain states

Sports Castle or Spooky Castle? Former Sports Authority site hosts Halloween pop-up

No brand recognition? No problem, says this retailing center

Sprawling Valley poses unique pop-up challenges

The West

A la carte: Bay Area offers full menu of food pop-ups

Big chains dominate the Halloween pop-up scene in LA

’Tis the season for those temporary retail shops popping up all over

Why dfrntpigeon is an entirely new breed of pop-up

Amazon’s deals on wheels roll across the country

October 24, 2017 - 1:05pm