Thought Leadership

Pop Up Shops: Reviving Vacant Spaces and Boosting City Economies

pop up shops article image

Pop Up Shops:

Reviving Vacant Spaces and Boosting City Economies

Pop-up shops are a great addition to cities for several reasons. They make clever use of empty spaces in the community, turning forgotten corners into vibrant hubs. This not only beautifies the city but also boosts its economy.

Pop Up Shops

Reviving Vacant Spaces and Boosting City Economies

One significant benefit is that pop-up shops allow brands to dip their toes into new markets before diving in. Imagine a big brand wanting to open a store in a new neighborhood. Instead of committing right away, they can set up a pop-up shop. If it does well, they might decide to stay permanently. If not, they can try elsewhere. This approach saves money and minimizes risks.

Pop-up shops also bring fresh excitement to a city. They introduce residents to new and emerging brands, enhancing their quality of life. People get to explore unique products and experiences they might not find elsewhere. Although exact stats may vary, studies show that pop-up shops often succeed. According to Pop Up Republic, pop-ups generate over $50 billion in annual sales in the United States. That’s a significant contribution to the economy.

Warby Parker, a well-known eyewear brand, opened a pop-up shop in a vacant retail space in downtown Greenville, South Carolina in 2012. At the time, Greenville was undergoing a revitalization effort to transform its downtown area into a vibrant destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Despite Greenville’s relatively smaller population compared to larger metropolitan areas, the pop-up shop attracted significant attention and foot traffic, drawing in residents and visitors alike.

The success of the pop-up shop in Greenville demonstrated the demand for Warby Parker’s eyewear products in the area and paved the way for the brand to establish a permanent brick-and-mortar store in the city. In 2013, Warby Parker opened its first permanent retail location in downtown Greenville, signaling its commitment to serving customers in the region.

Opening and advertising a pop-up shop space can be a catalyst for economic prosperity in a city. These temporary ventures not only breathe life into vacant properties but also attract diverse businesses, fostering innovation and growth. It’s a dynamic way for both established and emerging brands to test the market and engage with the community, creating a win-win situation that fuels economic vitality.

Strategies for Success

Does your community incorporate pop-up shops into its economic development strategy?
They transform vacant spaces, help allow brands to test the waters, and offer residents a taste of something new. Contact our team to discuss the importance of retail, restaurants, and other economic growth opportunities.


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Matt Jaeger

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