How to Make a Memorable Pop-up Shop

Pop-up stores are everywhere these days—from storefronts to suburban shopping malls—and it’s easy to see why.

Although they aren’t new, pop-ups allow retailers and brands, both big and small, to test out new products, gain insights into their target audiences, generate word-of-mouth interest, grow sales, and more.

If you want to hop on the trend but don’t know where to start, we’ve created a new how-to guide that tells you everything you need to know.

Look below to find our top five tips. And, to read the complete guide, scroll to the bottom to get your free copy.


1. Choose the right space

There are four main types of locations pop-up retail spots set up in: an art gallery or event space; a shopping center or mall; a vacant street-level storefront; or a store within a store. Each one offers its share of benefits, but customer experience is important above all else, so think hard about these three things when planning your pop-up:

  • Does it match my brand’s overall look and feel?
  • Is this the kind of place my customers would want to shop?
  • Am I able to execute everything I want to visually here?


2. Try to blend into the neighborhood

The space you open your pop-up in says as much about your business as the area it’s located.

Read up as much as you can on the surrounding area before renting out a space to make sure you’re targeting the right demographic.


3. Make delivering an unforgettable experience your top priority

To thrive in today’s economy, modern retailers need to think outside of the box, creating an experience that leaves a lasting impression long after the packaging is gone.

Create the kind of space that allows customers to inhabit your brand’s image.

Color company Pantone did this with their Pantone Café, a small-scale coffee shop in Monaco that allowed customers to taste a variety of food items and beverages, all of which were branded with Pantone’s signature color swatches.

It’s perfect Instagram-bait, the kind of thing consumers can’t help but share on social media in all its vibrant, visual glory.


4. Generate buzz (and lots of it)

Pop-up stores, by their very nature, come with a sense of urgency that’s like catnip to most consumers: they involve short-term leases that last only weeks, if not days, and many retailers and brands use the opportunity to sell limited edition supplies, increasing the inherent value of their products.

Both tactics lead to long lines, but if you want them to stretch around the block, try announcing the takeover only a day or two in advance, or emphasizing which products won’t be for sale anywhere else.


5. Be bold

We’ve talked about how brand consistency and creating a sense of community are critical to any successful pop-up, but they’re also great opportunities for retailers to take risks and monitor the results.

Try experimenting with store design (like Snarkitecture did with this minimal, monochromatic retail setup nestled inside an old industrial space they made for L.A.-based fashion label COS), or make it mobile, like Warby Parker’s touring school bus, which stopped off and set up shop in a variety of American cities.

Ultimately, whatever you choose to do, just make sure it’s memorable.

Head here to get your free copy