By Mario Toneguzzi
A new concept is helping malls adjust to the changing retail landscape by connecting landlords with short-term retailers.
The pop-up go initiative has been launched in the Bramalea City Centre in the heart of Brampton, Ontario.
Linda Farha, founder and ‘Chief Connector’ at pop-up go, said the concept is a response to a changing retail world where shopping centres are now looking to pop-up retail to offer different retailers opportunities to do business and therefore to grow traffic in those malls.
“I realized that there was no real website where people could actually find inventory of available space for pop-up. So that’s how pop-up go started. So in essence what the website offers is an inventory of available space but beyond that - I call that the reactive zone - and the proactive zone is really us seeking out ways to help create traction whether it’s a new concept that needs to kind of get traction to their pop-up or a landlord who has available space and needs traction to get pop-ups to look at their space,” said Farha.
“When it comes to the retailer, or the pop-up, we provide a turn key solution.”
Farha started the Toronto-based company about two and a half years ago.
Christina Mossa, Specialty Leasing Manager at Bramalea City Centre, said the goal is to bring creative and innovative opportunities to the shopping centre and this initiative is a perfect way to do that.
Bramalea City Centre is the fourth largest enclosed shopping centre in Ontario, and the seventh in Canada. The newly-expanded, two-level shopping centre offers 1.5 million square feet of retail shopping space, showcasing a tenant mix of over 350 stores and services including Saks Off 5th, Forever 21, Aritzia, Sephora, and Browns Shoes.
It will offer convertible retail merchandising units and common area spaces in a range of sizes with various features to suit a variety of pop-up events.
“We’re always looking for new things to help invigorate the shopping experience for our customers. pop-up go aligns perfectly with our expectations in that they can help facilitate securing new and different retailers. The short-term duration of the lease allows us to cycle in different concepts that our customers will find interesting,” said Mossa, adding that Bramalea City Centre is looking at gaining two to three pop-up stores working collaboratively with pop-up go.
“Bramalea City Centre is focusing on bringing some new innovative and unique stores as pop-up experiences. Bramalea City Centre would like to focus primarily on storefronts however, kiosks would be welcomed based on availability and use.”
Farha said pop-up go will be working with landlords across the country to roll out this initiative nationally, as well as expanding the concept into the United States.
“We have people coming to us and they’re like ‘oh I’ve got a retail concept or I’ve got a brand I want to promote and I’m looking for a location’ and we kind of review what exactly they’re looking for in terms of the profile they’re looking for and then we basically give them a whole bunch of opportunities of different spaces that could be of interest to them,” said Farha.
The concept is a growing trend in the retail world.
“It’s a trend that’s been around for some time. Probably more so in the U.S. Even now big retailers are doing it like Macy’s and Nordstrom. A lot of these retailers are doing the same thing. Of course, these large department stores are almost like malls in themselves. They’re taking the same approach as well within their stores,” added Farha.
The pop-up space can be either a permanent physical space or a kiosk type setting.
“It depends on where it is and the needs of the particular property,” she said. “It could be anything. Sometimes we do parking lots. It’s all over the board.”
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org