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location location…

We’re away for the month of January – but thought we’d keep you entertained with some re-posts of previous articles ! This “location location…” post first appeared at popUPshopsMelbourne on 19th June 2012…

 

One of the greatest challenges facing the potential “popper” (pop up shop business !) must be finding a suitable location – at an agreeable rate of course !  How many times have I heard of lengthy searches, phone calls and walking pavements looking to set up a temporary outlet – only to finally find something and then discover it’s hell-expensive… A sad story, and often relayed with a tinge of despair…

I guess I’m mostly talking about the vacant “high street” shop. So easy to recognise – the property is obviously empty and there’s a “for lease” sign across the front window, probably with the last tenant’s brand still swinging off the awning…..

If you talk to the real estate agents these properties are often just not available for anything less than a full-term lease, no further discussion thank you. Or if the agent does consider a short term lease they are priced out of range by inflexible rental demands… Sure, we’d expect to pay a small premium for a short period – within reason. Many agents were (still are…) just not interested in writing up short term tenants – there’s little benefit for them, it’s not worth the effort of negotiations, contracts and licensing etc. Or is it the Landlords holding out, reluctant to make a commitment  in case a lovely long lease comes along in the meantime ?

Thankfully those attitudes have been changing in recent times, as agents and owners realise that pop shops offer to get the lights back on, with traffic coming through the door – which are great opportunities to promote a location and keep a precinct alive. There’s nothing worse than a street with no buyers, that doesn’t say anything positive to prospective long-term tenants. Pop up activity, if only for a week or a month, must be a good thing for a vacant shop. The property is alive once again. And the pop up tenant might actually make a go of it, then come back to negotiate that 5+5+5 year lease. Oh, and there’s rent coming in too…

There have been a few traders who’ve seen the potential and taken it upon themselves to offer pop up locations by offering to sub-lease their premises for temporary events. Such as the Chapel Street fashion retailer who has turned over several pop ups in recent months, just by posting a hand-written sign in her shop-front… announcing the shop was available to short-term occupants. When they didn’t have a fashion brand doing a “4 Day Sale” (or whatever) she’d put her own stock out again between times – I can only imagine that would prompt shoppers to return occasionally, just to see what’s new in the store.

The very nature of a pop up shop – hopefully something unique, creative and inspiring  – should encourage us to think outside-the-box. There’s a lot of scope for agents, owners and traders to work together and still achieve their own goals… whether that is to cover the rent in quiet times, sign up a long lease or just to inject a burst of activity.

Location location 1

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