It’s estimated that pop-up stores now generate more than £2bn of trading in the UK. Interestingly, nearly half of the pop-up sector is dedicated to food and drink but they are also popular platforms for selling fashion, jewellery and arts & crafts.
When they first became a phenomenon, they offered a range of benefits for landlords. It might be that they could simply remove an unsightly vacant unit in an otherwise thriving shopping environment, avoid empty rates liability or generate revenue through seasonal trading patterns.
However, as pop-ups evolved into a more sophisticated retail channel they led to ‘permanent pop-up’ developments such as Boxpark in Shoreditch and more recently, Pop Brixton. In reality, these schemes do have a finite lifespan, but what they show is that pop-ups have created a type of shopping experience that is popular with shoppers.
Given that pop-ups are now a fixture in the retailing scene, it is important that landlords are equipped to access the benefits without triggering unforeseen consequences. Lease structure, exclusivity issues and the interface with other tenants in the location all need to be addressed and these usually hinge on creating an appropriate legal framework which meets the needs of both landlord and pop-up operator.