How-To Guide to find the perfect location for your Pop-Up store

Ambiance, interior layout, setting and condition – All you need to consider to find the perfect spot for your pop-up idea.

A great spot is the alpha and omega. Everything rises and falls on the right location. Even the most convincing concept won’t brew if the spot is shady. To find the ideal place for your pop-up, it initially helps to define your goals. What’s your mission, why are you aiming to open a pop-up store in the first place? The more specific you can answer those questions, the more tangible you can search the right space for your showroom, your gallery or event.

Consequently, criteria will arise and help to ease and narrow down the hunt for a rental unit. Do you require a certain amount of square meters? An additional outside area? A customer car park? Outlining a few of those must-haves establishes a clearer orientation, although you still remain flexible enough to find the most suitable estate for your pop-up store.

Of commuters and Nighthawks

Think about place and position: Which city, which district and which street do you wish to place your pop-up in? Got a vision? Try your guess and take a stroll through the streets. Catch the vibe in your neighborhood-to-be. Throughout the day potential visitors will alter: Early commuters take turns with midday shoppers, who will grow into drifters clocking off, waiting for the moonlight to swap them with nighthawks. In case you don’t know your way around the city yet, dare a look into travel guides or the local blogger scene, who might share some street-smartness about home-grown hotspots and trending neighborhoods with you.

A booth or small shop inside a mall, or a single store with downtown location will provide plenty of walk-in customers. Such areas might be pricy, yet the much sought-after presence is a given. Fellow retail dealers don’t just count for competition, but can be of good use to forge links and compare notes. Maybe their product environment matches your supply – or else your idea sticks out particularly strong? Or are you ogling with the exact opposite, favoring a given underground flair and a specific trend conscious audience? Surprise, you won’t find that in bigger shopping centers, but rather off the mainstream areas. Situated in a far-flung industrial park, with a spot-on concept (and a convenient transport connection), a store can come across exceptionally exclusive and remote in a positive way – given good PR, of course. Or totally offbeat: a cube near the main station? A sales floor inside a metro station? A retro-style caravan inside a park? In principle: The more unique your store will be and the stronger it is silhouetted against other business competition, the more attention it will generate – also and especially amongst current opinion leaders. Nevertheless, ambiance, basic layout and settings must complement your product or service offers.

Own store or shop-in-shop?

How long do you wish to rent the pop-up space for? Shorter rental periods can be opposed to renovations, however they might dispense you of incidentals. Renting your store for three months, allows you to handle its configuration more freely. Have you decided yet if it needs to be a store of your own, or could you jump in with the store-in-store idea? The benefits of choosing your own shop are obvious: You are the boss, you make the decisions. You won’t have to make compromises e.g. regarding interior design, store concept or opening hours. A vacant commercial property is usually ready for occupation and can be freely fashioned. In case you are looking forward to creating a whole self-made customer experience, running your own store offers you the best option.

The decision for managing your business as shop-in-shop venture also comes with advantages. Do you want to open your store as quick as possible? You may find a solution in a pre-equipped store. You might even find one, which supplements your scope of supply and services, creating a win-win situation for both businesses. You may not necessarily have influence enough to participate in design and decor decisions, but you can access their ongoing customers and benefit from a considerably low-cost lease and operating charges.

Speaking of costs: Every budget appoints decisively the kind of centricity your store will be realized in. Finding the perfect pop-up location can eventually be time-consuming and nerve-wracking. To avoid a never-ending process and to allow you to concentrate on the actual implementation, our Go—PopUp service team will sustain your search. Simply get in touch, we enjoy resolving your questions!

Location is still the key

The choice of location can make the difference between success and failure of your pop-up store. While pioneer brands such as Comme des Garçons and Nike  –which were the first to embrace the pop-up idea-, showed up at venues that, at that time, had been completely unknown or even abandoned such as closed production sites or deserted backyards; today, there is a tendency to appear at the ever same inner-city locations and places. In this way, the success potential of the location is dangerously underestimated since brands communicate – via the selection of the venue – their understanding of the zeitgeist, their insight into the latest trends as well as their courage to embark on new paths and to think outside the famous box.

Put differently, the more unique your location is and the less your competitors have previously been associated with; the more your location will appeal to the usually difficult-to-reach opinion leaders and trendsetters. It will generate a substantial “moment of surprise” among your target group and will be strongly related to your brand even long after the pop-up store took place.

Do I need a license to open a Pop-Up Store? What kind of license?

Any kind of activity requires a license. A license is an administrative authorization, in principle indefinite, on the activities that can be carried out in a private space, granted by the Town halls. Otherwise, you may incur an administrative fine and/or any insurance may be disabled.

What types of licenses exist?

  • Safe activities: those that do not generate significant discomfort, environmental impact (health, hygiene), damage to public or private property or risk to property or persons. Many small businesses, such as fashion shops or non-perishable food products, are considered safe activities, as well as small offices for the provision of various services.
  • Qualified activities: those considered to be annoying, unhealthy, harmful and/or dangerous (catering, industrial activities, certain businesses, and services) and requiring corrective health, safety and/or environmental measures. Many of them can only be made in industrial land.

The only exempt activities are those professional, artisan and artistic that are done in the home, as long as there is no sale or direct attention to the public and do not cause discomfort to the neighbours.

How long does it take to get a license?

Generally between two and four months. Although depending on the case may be more or less time.

How much can it cost me?

It is very difficult to estimate the cost of a license as it will vary greatly depending on the case.

I want a license, what steps should I follow?

  • A professional team should assess the type of licenses you need.
  • Elaboration of the report or technical project of a license of opening and/or adaptation of premises, generally by an accredited technician (industrial technical engineer, technical architect …).
  • Aimed at the project by the corresponding Official College. It entails the payment of fees.
  • Payment of the corresponding municipal fees, in a bank or at the city, as appropriate.
  • Presentation of the application for the opening license, together with the technical project and the receipt of the payment of the municipal taxes, in the register of the competent area of the Town Hall, generally urban planning or environment.

I have a space with sales licenses and I want to make an event, can I?

It depends on the license and the type of event. In general, there is some flexibility to carry out eventual activities in licensed sales spaces, provided that the capacity limits, safety and health regulations, and the schedules in which the public attendance will occur are met. Special care must be taken with food products. We recommend consulting in each case if you have doubts.

What happens if a user does an activity that was not clear in their request? Is it possible for the location to be closed?

The organiser of an event is responsible for what happens in it, as well as to comply with the limitations of the license or permit with which it counts. The owner must report transparently, and provide copies of the timely documentation, if necessary, to the user to have all the necessary information. In spite of this, and in order to avoid penalties, we recommend to the owner a smooth communication with the user, provided that what he intends to do in space deviates from the reasonably foreseeable in the scope of the space activity license. In a case of doubt, we recommend to both parties to consult with an expert in the matter.

Do you need specialist technical support? Get in touch with our team through, we will be glad to make your idea come true.

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