Last year, retailers were using space left behind by recession-hit retailers such as Circuit City and Linens 'n Things for their temporary needs. This year retailers are increasing the length of time Halloween pop-up shops stay open, she says.
"It's a lot longer than previous years," Panteva says. Some Halloween pop-up stores "started opening up in early August, rivaling sales for back-to-school. The retail environment is still a little bit difficult. They're trying to do anything they can to capture sales."
Panteva says final projections are not completed for pop-up shops for the December holidays, but the number is expected to be even higher than the 2,000 stores predicted last year.
No one's sure where the growth stops.Pop-up stores are increasingly being used as part of initiatives to revitalize downtown areas in cities such as Atlanta and Seattle, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, says Carole VanSickle Ellis, news editor of the Bryan Ellis Real Estate letter. The hope is that by putting in temporary shops and merchants, areas will become appealing to more permanent retailers. This summer Pittsburgh launched Project Pop Up Pittsburgh, geared toward filling vacant storefronts and spaces in the downtown area. The grant program, funded through the Urban Redevelopment Authority among others, aims to fill 15 vacancies for a six- to 12-month period, with the goal of long-term occupancy. Panteva noted that last year Best Buy (BBY) ended up keeping their holiday pop-up shops selling mobile devices open even after the holiday season, but says that's rare. Retailers are more likely to come back to the same location the following year for a temporary store. Pop-Up Insider's Norsig says the temporary shops are -- ironically -- not about to go away. "This is a permanent fixture in the evolution of retail," she says. "It's an effective way for brands to market their collections and an efficient way for owners to use their space." -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.
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