Pop-up commerce has emerged as one of the hottest retail trends of the last few years. The category includes the Halloween-themed shops that occupy otherwise-empty stores each fall to mall kiosks to retrofitted shipping containers. While some examples border on the outrageous — Adidas employs a 44-by-24-foot “shoebox” as its signature pop-up — the business fundamentals are anything but. Landlords get to rent out unused space. Businesses can generate buzz and create brand experiences that can be moved to wherever customers might gather — sporting events, concerts, conventions, and the like.
Temporary stores are even helping foster urban renewal. D:hive, a Detroit-based resource for entrepreneurs, sponsors a quarterly competition that offers winners free rent and $1,000 to experiment with retail concepts in vacant properties.