How to Plan your Pop up Store

Rosalie Vella

In Business, Design Posted


How do I make my brand stand out, in a world ofPop Up Stores (or temporary retail locations – that aren’t really pop up stores). In the next couple of pages, we’ll explore what a Pop Up Store really is, how to define your goals, what your location should look like and designing your space.


Temporary Retail vs Pop Up Store (Experience). Pop-up stores are temporary, flexible and on trend retail spaces – however, I don’t believe you can call a few racks of product in a space, a “Pop Up Store”. In a Pop Up Store, we want the customer to be immersed in your brand, feel, touch and taste all of the elements that make up who you are.  Sometimes you may wish to test out a particular product or category, or even what it would be like to have a retail location in a new area….… Either way, operating a Pop Up allows your brand to test new ideas, reach new customers and increase brand recognition.


When opening up a Pop Up Store you need to consider what you want to achieve and how you are going to measure these results. Making money doesn’t have to be your main focus there are tones of reasons to open up a Pop Up Store:

• Help your brand breakthrough in a crowded market
• Connect physically with your customer base
• Elevate your brands’ visibility
• Bring your products to life
• Increase site traffic or social exposure
• Introduce your customer to a new experience

The traditional way to develop a Pop Up Store, is to take an existing site and reskin, or refinish the space to look like your brand. There are so many more ways to activate in the current environment.

• Work with an existing retailer to activate within their space – Shop in Shop
• Develop a stand alone kiosk, that would work in a mid mall or festival environment
• Even motorised – motorbike, truck, caravan, car, bus…..!
• Exhibition Space
• Guided Experience
• And the list goes on…

Retail store – Moving into a vacant store space
Mall – Setting up shop at a mall, surrounded by other retailers
Booth – Launching a pop-up store at events like fairs or festivals
Store space – Taking advantage of shelf or table space within an existing store
Mobile – Using vehicles such as trucks or buses as your store
Kiosk – Setting up a small hut or cubicle-like storefront
Collaborate- partner with another merchant

A couple of great examples are –





As with all property, location is everything. Are you after an intimate affair, major traffic flow or a site that has real meaning. These are the questions you need ask yourself to measure where the best potential site is for your brand.

Consider what kind of impact you want to create, and what experience you want your customers to have, how long you want them to spend with and this will help you to determine what format you will take up.

• Beach Side
• Shopping Mall
• Warehouse Basement
• Music Festival
• City Park
• Street Corner or Square
• Completely Mobile

Remember that your space and location should compliment your brand, think about where your customers live, work, shop and hang out. Use the databases that are available to you, be it online sales, loyalty programs or general population data to understand where your customer is, where they hang out and make sure you are there!

Don’t underestimate the importance of access, parking, public transport, how you will manage people waiting to get in when you’re blown away with the line up on opening day. Finally, make sure the space or site makes commercial sense. There is no use spending all of your budget on the location, if you can’t afford to completely immerse your customer when they arrive.


Choosing the right time and how to launch your pop-up is crucial to its’s success.

Launch events are a great way to entice new customers, make an impact or create the perfect opportunity for press and local trendsetters to put the spotlight on your brand. Self-promotion is great, but getting other people to do it for you is better.

Consider what dates on the calendar are important to your customer and when they will be available to visit. Its no use holding a winter snow-based Pop Up, when everyone has gone skiing….. unless you do it in the mountains. Similarly, choose your location with consideration to the weather and how this will help or hinder your message.

Make a list of the best periods and prioritise them, for example: 

• Major Holiday periods
• Seasonal changes (Summer, Winter)
• Global events
• Local events
• Music Festivals
• Range Releases
• Anniversaries (everyone likes a birthday)

Most of all make sure the date or period has meaning…… If your Pop Up Store is successful, it doesn’t mean it has to end….. you can extend its life by releasing another product, dropping a new range or simply updating imagery through the space.


Here is where you can throw the rule book out. If your brand is black and white in its permanent locations, why don’t you try colour. If you are a conservative brand most of the time, try being risqué – the idea of a Pop Up Store is to delight and surprise customers.

“Use the design of your store to draw customers in”.

It’s critical that you consider what will spark the customers’ imagination and what will keep them in-store to browse the range or event you are presenting. Every element within the space should be designed to align with your project goals, but also to create a cohesive message online, socially and within the space.


Entry:  Create impact. From a distance, the entry needs to be captivating and stand out drawing people in. Keep this area open and inviting, whilst thinking about instagrammable moments that your customers won’t be able to not share.

Layout: Customers need to move freely through the space, think about the circulation space as well as the display space and how these can be balanced to create the right experience for your customers. Curate the product offering to be very specific to what you want your customer to see and believe. Consider creating a focal point within the store, to draw customers in.

Fixtures: This is where you can be creative and experiment with different modular ideas. The fixture suite should not only be functional but align to your brand identity.

Display: In-store displays can also boost sales,  pick the right spot and create an intriguing story. Look at creating pause points with store to points of interest, even include your customer in them…. They become the focal point.

Integrate Technology:  These displays provide an interactive, high-tech shopping experience. Work on content so that you can projection map on the walls, it is possible to amaze your customer with alternative suggestions, colour ways or options based on their initial selection.

Signage:  Again, throw out the rule book and change up what you normally do. Pop Up  Stores give you license to stretch what your brand is capable of and in particular that includes signage. Integrate artwork by those associated with your brand as a featured backdrop to your signage.

The retail landscape is more competitive than ever and you need to be able to set yourself apart from the competition. These ideas and strategies will help you to stand out, if your looking for a design agency to work with Prospace have a wealth of experience in this space and can help you launch a pop up that will deliver impact with cut through.

Contact us on design@prospacedesign.com.au


By Rosalie Vella
Interior Designer at Prospace Australia

Rosalie Vella has been an interior designer at Prospace design since 2015. She has experience in retail, hospitality, residential and commercial design. She is very passionate about creating spaces that engage with their audience, bringing client ideas to life. Rosalie loves exploring the creative potential of a project and experimenting with colour patterns and textures.