B U S I N E S S + C U LT U R E 33 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. 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 wanted 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 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. Enid Santana, specialty leasing manager at Valdosta Mall, helps local entrepreneurs pop-up their business.