• Share

How to do a Pop Up Shop or Event

Do you want to know how to do a pop up shop or event? When a business is established in more than one location, it has an advantage over its competitors.

Instead of sitting back and waiting for people to come into your existing storefronts, outdoor sales events or a pop-up shop can help you reach new customers with exciting deals and experiences.


What’s the Deal with Pop-Up Shops and Temporary Locations?

Retail sales are on the rise. NRF predicts that retail will exceed $4.44 trillion in revenue this year as the economy recovers and people get back to shopping at stores again. As vaccination rates increase, more events can be held outside without illness worry.

In many cities, retail rents are lower than in years. In New York City, even the most high-end districts for retailers show a higher number of vacancies and open storefronts available to new tenants who will lease at cheaper rates.

There is never a better time to explore the possibilities of quick sales, with pop-ups and events on every corner.

A pop-up shop can help you:

  • Scout out new permanent locations
  • Market your brand to new customers
  • Capitalize on high-traffic areas with lower leasing fees

pop up shop

Should you open a pop up shop or sell at an event?

Pop-up shops are more financially committed than events and sidewalk sales because they require leases. They can also last longer, so pop-ups serve different purposes for customers.

Sidewalk sales are a popular and effective way to get people in the door. The deals offered often represent inventory that needs to be cleared out before it expires.

Events can help you find customers who might not have been actively looking for your products, but events are a tricky business. Click To Tweet

When surveyed, shoppers were asked why they shopped at a pop-up shop. The top reasons given were

  • Unique products or experiences
  • Curiosity, entertainment, excitement
  • Supporting local businesses

Pop-up shops are not just for sales. They can also be used to showcase products that customers might never see in your regular stores and give them an experience they would otherwise miss out on during their trips downtown.

If you’re going to have a pop-up shop, it should be about more than just bringing people in the door. It needs to offer something that shoppers can’t get at your permanent locations.

To make the most of your temporary location, you should choose one that matches what you want for it.

  • Want to clear out inventory? Put up a sidewalk sale outside your busiest location.
  • Set up a booth at an event to let your target market know about you.
  • If you are looking for a new way to get your business in front of people, start exploring the idea of doing pop-up shops. 

The three strategies are not exclusive of one another. They can all be used together to create a powerful marketing strategy.

How much would a pop-up store or event cost?

There are no concrete figures for pop-up shops, sidewalk sales, or events. The rent, marketing, and booth rental costs vary depending on the city and event.

With that said, you still need to plan out your temporary location. The key is not just blindly entering the space without knowing what it will cost.

Figuring out the average cost of a pop-up shop

Evaluating a pop up shop is similar to considering any new location. The most significant difference, though, is how the rent will be handled—most pop-ups last between two weeks and two months.

If you want to set up a pop-up shop, you’ll need to budget for:

  • Rental fees
  • Utilities
  • Employee salaries
  • Marketing
  • Inventory
  • Licenses and permits
  • Point of sale (POS) system

Pop-up stores can be costly, but they’re worth it. When you pick your location and inventory well, pop-ups often pay off.

Figuring out the average cost of a sidewalk sale or other event

Setting up a booth at an event requires money for the rental and time and resources to prepare materials.

Storage costs may also apply if you plan on selling products at your event for more than one day.

A sidewalk sale or event booth is cheaper than a pop-up shop, but they’ll also be shorter and less profitable.


How to Set Up a Pop-Up Store or a Temporary Location

You have chosen your temporary location. It might be in an up-and-coming part of town or a music festival near you.

Before you can start selling your items, some pre-work steps need to be done.

pop up shop

1. Decide what your goals are

Whether you want to clear out old inventory or entice customers to visit your permanent locations, a pop-up shop or event is ideal for you. Set measurable goals and revisit them after the shop closes or the event ends.

2. Set up your point of sale system

When you’re holding a sale outside your flagship location or opening up a pop-up shop in another city, it’s essential to have the right point of sale system to manage inventory and sales.

A cloud-based POS system will work well if you want to sell something outside of your store. You need a different digital register and the ability for your employees to use iPads as long as they have wifi or data hotspots.

Pop-up shops are a lot of work, but you can still get up and running quickly with the help of POS software. Even if your pop-up shop is far from any other location, it allows for quick setup. You’ll be able to monitor all sales activity remotely so that nothing slips through the cracks.

3. Acquire and organize your inventory

Now that you have set up your POS, the next step is to decide what inventory items you want.

If you are holding a sidewalk sale, the only thing that needs to be done is for your discounts to be set up.

If you plan to sell exclusive merchandise at an event, it is essential to create a POS entry.

With a POS system, you can ensure that your inventory levels are always accurate. Once the sale or event is over, there will not need to spend hours reconciling everything for that location because it has been syncing all along.

Managing pop-up shops can be challenging because you need to decide how to transfer the inventory. You’ll also have to figure out what location gets any leftover stock after the pop-up ends.

4. Make a Plan B for stockouts

If your goal is to clear out old inventory, then restocking products isn’t necessary because it’s not a problem for you. Likewise, if the sold items are exclusive or limited-time, there doesn’t need to be much effort in reordering them.

However, customers are turned off by empty shelves at pop-ups and events just as they would be in a regular store. In such cases, you could:

  • Transfer items from other locations to your pop-up shop.
  • Direct customers to your other sites.
  • Take eCommerce orders for customers.

5. Prepare your employees

If you’ve hired extra temporary staff or are using your existing employees, it is essential to let them know what they need to do for the pop-up shop to succeed.  Click To Tweet

For example, if you want to increase your awareness among a new customer base, make sure that employees fill out profiles for everyone who stops by the store. You can also collect email addresses and consent to contact them to expand your marketing efforts.


pop up shop

Final Thoughts on Pop Up Shops and Events

Pop-up shops and events are great ways to get your name out there, make some money on the side, and also gather valuable data that you can use for marketing purposes.

It’s essential to keep a line of communication open with your landlord if you like the location of your pop-up shop.