How Do Pop Up Shops Compare with Traditional Premises? - dummies

How Do Pop Up Shops Compare with Traditional Premises?

By Dan Thompson

Pop ups offer many benefits over traditional premises to lots of types of businesses. Although artists were the first to recognise the benefits of pop ups, all business sectors, from small and home-based businesses to global brands like Reebok and Disney, widely use them.

Taking on any commercial premises comes with certain responsibilities, so why choose a pop up over more traditional locations?

In both situations:

  • You must sign an agreement for a set period and commit to paying rent, rates and utilities for that time. The agreement is between you and the landlord and gives you both rights and responsibilities in law.

  • You need to fit out the interior with equipment, furniture and fittings. Any equipment you use needs to be to a good standard, well-maintained and, most importantly, safe.

  • You must staff the premises and manage those employees. Your employees also have certain rights and responsibilities, so you need to be aware of the laws regarding the use of employees or volunteers.

Even if you expect to only employ part-timers they too have rights, perhaps more than you may expect. Ever since The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 was introduced in the UK, part-timers have progressively had their employment rights brought into line with those of full-time staff.

Obviously, a pop up shop reduces some costs by being a short-term let (lease) and open only for a short time. Other costs, such as furniture and fittings or marketing, may actually be higher because the cost isn’t spread over a long period of time. Of course, this generalisation isn’t necessarily the case, and you can find lots of creative ways around that problem.

Don’t forget that any saving is offset by reduced sales income from a limited period of opening.

Pop Ups versus Traditional Shops
Pop Up Shop Traditional Shop
Short-term tenancy, low or limited rent Long-term lease; rent-free periods may be available but rent
will rise
Business rates and utilities to pay Business rates and utilities to pay
Temporary interior, furniture and fixtures Full shop fit-out
Limited direct sales Ongoing sales and regular customers
Fixed-term staff, high induction costs for short-time
Permanent staff with regular responsibilities