How to Make your Pop Up Shop Happen


Pop-up retail is crowned as an easy, affordable solution for retailers and entrepreneurs looking for an authentic customer experience, testing and introducing products to new markets, and utilizing the short-term marketing opportunity to generate buzz. For a deeper dive into pop up shops, read our blog, “What is a Pop Up Shop?” When you’re planning for your pop-up it’s natural to start with the fun stuff. What kind of unique experience will you bring? How will the space look and feel? How will you develop interest and allure? After all, this kind of creativity and ingenuity is exciting and infectious.

Then reality hits. You have this amazing idea, but how do you actually make it happen? What are the logistics of executing a pop-up shop? To help smooth out the process, we’ve developed this list of important (less fun) considerations that are imperative for activating a successful pop-up shop.

Where is it going?

We’ll preach location all day. The lot or area you’re setting up will be pivotal in the success or demise of your temporary shop. Choose a busy area with tons of foot traffic. Think about how your pop-up will complement or contrast existing retail and services in the area. You can grab all the attention you want, but if your offerings aren’t relevant to the community, they’ll leave without a second thought.

How much control do you need over the space?

We’ve been in this business for nearly a decade, and that means we’ve been fortunate enough to work with a variety of clients, with a full spectrum of needs. When you work with a land-owner, vendor, or agency, make sure they know how much influence you want to have over the space. A common point of friction happens when retailers don’t consider control when choosing their space. If you need to have oversite over the space aesthetic, it makes more sense to build or rent your own pop-up shop. If you prefer to leave the decorating to others, a small kiosk or booth inside another storefront could be more economical.

What kind of permits will you need?

If you thought temporary meant fewer or no legal considerations, we’re sorry to disappoint. The venue, district, and municipality will be a huge determining factor if you can pop up in a certain location. Temporary use and special event permits can be a good option for semi-permanent shops but may require certain licenses. So, plan accordingly. Start the planning process early, and work with an agency or vendor who is familiar with permitting processes. This alone will make the entire experience much more manageable.

Will you lease or obtain a license?

As the tenant, you will be responsible for signing a written agreement that outlines the scope and terms of your temporary shop. Landowners typically prefer a license agreement. If you breach the contract and don’t deliver on your obligations, the terms of the agreement give them the freedom to revoke your license with short notice.

If you will not be the only tenant in the area, you will want to make sure the landlord agrees to an exclusivity clause. This ensures that they do not lease to similar tenants or your direct competition for the duration of your lease. Hopefully, they have enough foresight to avoid this kind of conflict, but ensuring it’s in writing will give you additional peace of mind, and a little power to wield, if necessary.


Remember, pop-up shops are not only important for your business, but they also add significant value for developers, landowners, and the right communities. So, the key to making sure the event is successful for all parties involved is to make sure you address the details, along with the exciting and creative part. Partner with an experienced agency or vendor to help you through choosing a location, customization, permitting and lease agreements. For more information about the logistics of opening a pop up shop, contact Boxman Studios at 704-333-3733.