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Are Pop-Ups Now the Best Kind of Tenant?

December 8, 2023

A strong pop-up program boosts traffic, occupancy, experience and sales, experts said during a panel discussion at ICSC NEW YORK this week.

“There must be an integrated strategy across marketing and leasing,” said Tishman Speyer senior director of retail Brielle Milano. Chelsea Mullen, senior director of strategy and development for Skylight, which executes pop-up experiences for landlords — added that a successful pop-up strategy should balance retail and events. “Have event and pop-up conversations with existing tenants” before seeking outside parties to participate, she advised.

Landlords that are serious about their pop-up programs should Invest in modular furniture that can cycle through different operators, Milano advised. Basic house lighting, air walls and shelving that tenants can manipulate to their own needs removes a barrier that could keep low-funded brands from participating, she said.

Smart landlords are moving away from a deal-based approach to pop-up leases, considering instead the halo effect on sales, Milano said. “Percent rent shows you’re investing in them,” she said, adding that marketing exchanges should be a big part of the agreement. A certain number of social media posts, press releases and events should be required of each tenant. Tenants also should be willing to share sales and data info from their pop-ups with potential tenants and participate in future marketing efforts to promote the property, she added.

Ways she suggested to measure success of a pop-up program? Track revenue, the value of marketing and press, foot traffic and leasing leads.

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today


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