Short-term Brings Long-term Success
Valdosta Mall Helping Local Businesses Pop-Up to Next Level
The Valdosta Mall opened its Pop Up Shop as a way to give local entrepreneurs an opportunity to expand their businesses without having to make a long-term lease commitment.
Though the concept is relatively new in South Georgia, Enid Santana, specialty leasing manager at the Valdosta Mall, said it is quickly gaining attention.
“The best part of a pop-up shop is it gives the business owner, especially those online, an opportunity to try it on and see if it fits,” Santana said. “The owner doesn’t have to make an investment in all the fixtures or commit to a lengthy lease.”
The new Pop Up Shop, located in the center of the Valdosta Mall near the food court area, offers local entrepreneurs, as well as artists who want to market their work, an opportunity to reach a new audience and boost revenue.
The 1,500-square-foot space is available for rent on a weekly basis, Monday through Sunday, and the $750 a week cost includes fixtures, tables, mannequins, a fitting room, and custom window signage.
“The business owner doesn’t have to invest in the fixtures, they just need to bring their merchandise and cash register,” Santana said. “It is just that easy.”
For Valdosta business owners Shaneka Swinson and Jeffrey McKinnon, the pop-up concept proved to be a good fit.
After getting His and Hers Clothes established online and then in a small storefront, Swinson and McKinnon longed to increase their store’s visibility and reach more customers.
With their lease up for renewal, McKinnon and Swinson decided to give the pop-up concept a try.
“The biggest surprise was the amount of customer traffic,” said McKinnon. “We definitely gained new customers.”
After a successful pop-up experience, McKinnon and Swinson made the commitment to rent a 3,600-square-foot store in the Valdosta Mall.
“Doing the pop-up shop showed us we could grow our business at the mall,” McKinnon said. “If we hadn’t done the pop-up shop I am not sure if we would have made a move to a larger store.”
Santana said His and Hers Clothes is just one example of a business that can benefit from a pop-up experience.
“The pop-up concept is ideal for boutiques, gift shops, and specialty merchandise,” Santana said. “This is not only a great opportunity for businesses to expand their customer base, but it also gives our shoppers a chance to see new merchandise.”
Online businesses could also benefit from a pop-up experience.
“The Valdosta Mall is the retail hub for this region,” Santana said. “Having a storefront for even one or two weeks can help build a company’s brand and introduce an online business to a whole new set of customers.”
Santana encourages any business, whether just starting or wanting to expand, to give the pop-up concept a try.
“We are here to help all of our tenants succeed,” she said. “Not only do we provide a great location, along with the fixtures and signage, but we also help market the pop-up shop through our social media and overall marketing efforts.”