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Winning with pop up (again)


Another re-post of an early pUsM article. This one first appeared at popUPshops Melbourne way back in January 2014 (and again in October 2016). But I think it’s worth saying again – pop ups can offer a win-win (win) !


win-win adj.

“of or being a situation in which the outcome benefits each of two often opposing groups: a win-win proposition for the buyer and the seller”.*


We’ve all heard of the “win-win” situation, where each player gets pretty much what they want (or need) out of an arrangement – typically just 2 viewpoints. But does it then become “win-win-win” when another stakeholder enters the equation (and also gains a benefit) ?

Pop up shops can certainly offer to satisfy 3 diverse interests – the temporary retailer, the landlord of property – and also the local community.

  • The pop up retailer has a terrific opportunity to sell their wares or test the waters (of the location, the presentation or perception of a product), launch to their demographic, promote their brand or just build a following of new customers – all at (relatively) low cost and no commitment.
  • The landlord sees a vacant property occupied – perhaps with a clean lick of paint, the graffiti removed, doors open and people noticing the space again (vacant shops do tend to fade into the background…) – providing a little rent but also (most importantly…) offering the potential of a permanent tenant (the popper who is “testing the waters” might just tick some boxes – and sign up a lovely long lease !)
  • The local community benefits along the way as well. Pop ups tend to offer new products or concepts, providing alternatives for local shoppers – often with unique features which may also entertain or amuse (and give bored consumers something to talk about). A temporary store can attract visitors to a quiet precinct – more feet walking past existing businesses present an opportunity for those neighbouring traders to enjoy increased sales. And pop up shops require some effort to install – local businesses might provide the shopfittings or furniture, new signs out the front… change the security locks, clean some windows. And the trading pop-up may need additional sales staff… temporary events can certainly provide local investment and employment.

Of course there’ll always be some who’ll complain – often it’s the permanent retailers who see the arrival of a competitor (the johnny-come-lately popper who is not interested in building a real business… the way those permanents have had to build their business) – being suspicious of short-term operators who are only there to tempt away regular customers (“skim the cream”) – and then disappear without a trace. Yes, that certainly happens when a great new concept or product arrives next door – but isn’t that (just another) reason to ensure the original traders keep their own stores interesting, fresh and relevant ? Pop ups can certainly upset the status quo – there’s nothing wrong with that, occasionally ! But… the “threat” of pop up really only applies to similar businesses… no harm at all to most of the neighbouring traders (they’re enjoying the increased foot traffic).

The real estate agents also have some reservations about pop up (short-term leasing) – for good reason. Their commercial objective is to sign up those nice long leases – that is how they (the agents) make their money. The effort involved in negotiating and signing up a short-term tenant is still significant, and if they charged what it’s probably really worth they’d scare the poppers away… The (few) commercial agents who do support pop ups seem to take an attitude that it may just be part of the process… opening up other avenues for potential (long term) tenants, being seen as pro-active by their landlords – and also achieving some occasional, modest rental income.


*source :


Winning with pop up (again)


image : – Google Images

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