Pop-up stores are shaking up the retail industry. They can be a great way to get your brand and products in front of a new audience, but how do you find the right location?

Location Types

There are five different location types, each with its own mix of benefits and challenges.

Store within a Store

Setting up a small retail space within a larger store comes with the added benefit of foot traffic, loyal clientele and the opportunity to get your brand in front of your target demographic. This is a great option for someone starting out in retail and is trending in the industry right now. The large retailer Macy’s is beginning to offer “Marketplaces” inside their stores, which feature a different pop-up retailer each month. Other retailers are following suit.

Event Space

Event space can be a great fit for a pop up. The open flow of the space makes it a nice setting for fashion and apparel. Typically, there is minimalist set-up, making event spaces somewhat of a blank canvas for the temporary pop up. Event space locations can be a little bit off of the beaten path so to speak. So, make sure there is sufficient signage or consider holding regular events to get people in the door and familiar with the location.

Shopping Center

Shopping centers and malls are offering up more and more square footage to small kiosk stores and pop-ups. These locations offer lots of foot traffic as well as brand exposure. There are typically two pop-up options in malls: the kiosk/booth rental or a vacant store space. Oftentimes a mall will have a storefront they have had a difficult time renting and they are happy to rent it for a month or so.

Retail Space

Vacant street-level commercial space can be an excellent way to showcase your brand. Similar to empty mall storefronts, the property manager may be having a difficult time selling the space or finding a renter. But they might consider a short-term tenant. Foot traffic is a huge bonus plus having your own autonomous retail space can really strengthen your brand and company.


There have been very successful free-standing pop ups. Free-standing retail space gives you the ultimate freedom in location flexibility as some free-standing pop ups are even mobile. Creative use of shipping containers, tents, trailers and other materials are used to build the exterior and the interior of the pop up. The logistics of building and transporting the structure can be considerable. Likewise, you’ll need to keep in mind securing all usage permits and getting power to your pop up.

How to Get Started

A great place to start is with your own budget and goals. Calculate how much space you need and the amount you can spend on your strategic niche location. Consider the five options and find the best fit for your pop-up store location.

For more ideas on how to make your pop-up pop, contact us at Strategic Event Design.