Pop-Up Stores Provide Lucrative Alternative For Small Businesses - Page 2 of 2 - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Seasonal shopping aside, Baptiste, 30, says that the pop-up store concept is a tactic he wants to use at least 10 times a year to broaden the four-year-old company’s audience and liquidate excess inventory when necessary.

Yvonne Stafford, owner of Stafford International Realty, a commercial real estate agency in Harlem, is working with Baptiste to find a location. She admits that some landlords in Harlem are still hesitant to enter such agreements for fear of missing out on a long-term lease. Yet, in the time it takes to write out a long-term lease contract, a pop-up store could have been in and out, Baptiste says.

Stafford, who has been selling real estate in Harlem since 1993, says property owners should consider that a store with a tenant makes the neighborhood look better than a vacant storefront.

Here are five steps to think about when considering a pop-up store:

Outline your goals  and determine a location. The pop-up store is not a goal; it is a strategy to meet a goal. An entrepreneur can use a pop-up shop as a marketing tool to target specific audiences, a sales tactic to get rid of overstocked items, an on site focus group to gauge interest in a new product, or a barometer to test a neighborhood before opening a new store. “There is no time for people to find you so [the location] should be a high traffic area,” Stafford says.

Find a commercial real estate broker. A broker will help you narrow your search and put you in touch with property owners who are more willing to lease their property to you.

Don’t overpay. Base the amount you want to pay for a space on the length of time and the square footage of the space. If the monthly rent is normally $100 per square foot offer $50 per square foot, says Stafford.

Get insurance. If you own a business but do not own the property in which the business is conducted then you need to purchase business renters insurance; even if you’re there just for one day. If you already have insurance at another location, you may be able to get a rider that will temporarily carry that coverage over to the pop up venue. Insurance protects you from lawsuits that arise from injury, but also covers the cost of any damage that might occur to the rental property.

Plan an event. “It is a great way to build a brand to get exposure,” says Baptiste, who hired a DJ for a MilkShakeNYC pop-up store launched during Howard University’s homecoming celebration in Washington, D.C. An event at a pop-up store should go above and beyond the normal shopping experience; that is part of its appeal to customers. Consider throwing after-hours private parties with free food and beverages or sponsoring an in-store signing with designers or celebrities.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.


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