We tend to think of stores as long-term things. Sure, you might change out the product mix seasonally or refresh the selection as items sell out, but you’re always selling something, because your customers need to buy things year-round.
In reality, there are an awful lot of situations that don’t fit this model. Depending on when you read this, there might be few holiday kiosks at your local mall, a merch counter at a local event or a fundraiser at your kid’s high school. These days, even high-end fashion brands will set up temporary stores to promote new lines or generate hype. Nothing creates interest like a line of shoppers popping up out of seemingly nowhere.
In fact, clothing and fashion is probably where we get the term “pop-up shop” (also called “flash” stores) from, and the idea of a low-overhead, temporary selling venue seems to be more popular than ever these days. And since whatever happens in the world of retail finds its way online, pop-up web stores are proliferating faster than you can raise a tent on a street corner. You may have bought something from one without even knowing it.
What a Popup Store Isn’t
In keeping with our tradition of first defining things by what they aren’t, let’s talk about what’s not a popup store: