Short-term and pop-ups have always been integral pieces in the retail model for those who want to test out new business concepts, products and ideas.
With the downturn in the economy from COVID-19 and bankruptcies at the forefront of many retail brands – empty spaces are evident throughout centers in the US. Now, more than ever before, landlords are open to incorporating new concepts and alternative uses to help fill those empty spaces.
Offering more flexible leases can help fill vacant spaces quicker while creating a more desirable buyer’s market. New and mixed-use initiatives, such as pop-up movie theatres, have been popular throughout the lockdown. Pop-ups like these have allowed brands and landlords to continue to serve their community throughout the pandemic.
The current flexibility in the market will create a global trend in the retail industry for short-term to thrive. For those who want to open a brick-and-mortar space, but don’t want the long-term commitment – a pop-up is the perfect solution. Pop-ups also serve as a competitive advantage for department stores looking to stand out.
The most popular locations for pop-ups have been in local neighborhoods. “They’ve gone from weekend [to primary] destinations because people are at home and they’re there the whole week. We’ve seen brands look upstate at Connecticut and other places they normally wouldn’t have looked before,” said Ross Bailey, founder and Chief Executive Officer at Appear Here, an online marketplace for retail spaces.
Malls serve as favorable locations for pop-ups because of their connection to the local community. They are a central destination for people to come together. Now, pop-ups are straying away from the typical big city market and leaning towards locations in smaller, more suburban areas.
At SREG, we have noticed an ongoing theme in the enclosed mall industry to open specialty and mixed-use spaces. Since day one, our program has been designed to help businesses grow, develop meaningful relationships and bring unique opportunities to our centers. Incorporating pop-ups and short-term within our portfolio allows tenants to bring unique advantages and create added value for our shoppers.
Bryan Calkin, Director of Specialty Leasing at SREG, has shared his take on pop-ups and short-term leases and how the Leasing Program is staying ahead in the industry.
“Right now, we’ve identified a space in each of our properties across the nation that’ll become a pop-up shop where we can start to drive not only revenue, but relationships, partnerships and new uses in the center which down the road might really turn into something.”
One of the key advantages of short-term is their potential to turn into long-term, permanent tenants. If they fit the market and drive traffic, they can serve as an incredible asset in our portfolio.
“Our program as a whole will continue to expand and we’ll see a lot of the new uses that we haven’t seen. Right now, we’ve got some great concepts that are popping up across our portfolio.”
Our specialty program is designed to seek out opportunities in each market, to help expand and drive traffic within our centers.
“For Spinoso, the opportunity is great. We’re growing, it’s a tremendous industry, as we transition in this industry, I’m really excited to see where we are positioned, we have some of the strongest relationships in the industry – both nationally and regionally. Our team is very strong across the country. We’ve implemented learning, training. We have some new tools coming in that we haven’t had before, which will essentially drive revenue.”
With specialty leasing, anything is possible – from offering local handmade items in a kiosk to opening a temporary space for a trendy boutique. The possibilities are endless, and there are plenty of individuals looking to either expand or start their business.
For those who are just starting out – Bryan shares three pieces of advice for someone looking to open a pop-up or short-term business:
- Find a space that is adequate for your startup – make sure you don’t have to output several hundred thousand dollars to fill up a space with inventory you don’t have.
- Location, Location, Location – identify a few possible areas in centers where there will be high traffic.
- Incorporate the right marketing program – have that support in a short-term window to be able to coordinate social media campaigns to help drive traffic.
As pop-ups and short-term continue to be key advantages in retail, SREG strives to provide a unique approach and perspective in the industry to bring valuable spaces to our centers.
“We are different in the industry. It’s a mature industry, but I feel like we bring a lot of value to the table through our marketing, through our relationships and how we continue to work with people to grow new businesses.”
Source: Pop-up Power – Vogue Business