The trend started quietly, about a decade ago--mostly in New York City.
Retailers would open in vacant store fronts on a temporary basis. The idea was to sell merchandise quickly (at discounted prices), or to test market a new retail concept. Sometimes the shop would be open for a week, a day, a month--with the pop-up stores, well, popping-up at different locations across the City,
But now the concept is going mainstream, and may be headed to a mall near you.
Toys R Us is taking advantage of vacant mall space, and opening 600 pop-up stores during the holiday season. The 600 temporary shops more than doubles its number of its U.S. stores.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the toy retailer tested the concept last year when it opened 90 temporary mall-based Toys "R" Us Express stores during the holidays, many in spaces previously occupied by KB Toys, which folded in early 2009. Toys "R" Us also added holiday toy sections to its 260 Babies "R" Us locations and plans to do so again this year.
It's a low-overhead option for Toys R Us, a rental income spike for mall developers, and a conveinience for holiday shoppers.
We call that a win-win-win.