As brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants continue to find their footing in an e-commerce world, some entrepreneurs are ditching traditional storefronts for pop-up shops scattered throughout shopping centers.
In Loudoun, that trend has been particularly highlighted in the bustling One Loudoun development in Ashburn. Already home to a plethora of shops and restaurants, with its anchor Alamo Drafthouse, the development this fall gave rise to two pop-up retail establishments that will rotate tenants. Tagging it “four corners, two containers, one experience,” the area across from Matchbox restaurant plays host to two, 200-square-foot shipping containers. While the pop-ups are permanent, the tenants are not.
Currently, One Loudoun’s pop-up tenants include B Doughnut, which launched its flagship Loudoun location in downtown Leesburg two years ago, and Nollypop, a mobile boutique that became a fixture at the county’s wineries and breweries.
B Doughnut owner Pin Chanthapanya said One Loudoun reached out to them about the pop-up opportunity, “so we decided, ‘why not’?”
She said the Ashburn location was enticing to them, since it’s central to many of their customers. They will remain in the pop-up space until May, but are already considering opening a storefront in Ashburn. Their popularity has followed them to Ashburn, she said, and while overhead is about the same since they have longer opening hours and have separate cooks for the morning and afternoon hours, Chanthapanya said they’re looking to reprise the pop-up concept elsewhere.
B Doughnut’s former sublessee in the Leesburg shop, Churrology, has also said it will be looking into pop-up locations in lieu of the traditional storefront. Since it closed its Leesburg location in October, it has already made the rounds at restaurants, breweries and special events.
Another popular Loudoun shopping center, the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets, has also caught on to the pop-up trend. Old Ox Brewery has temporarily set up in front of the Jos. A Bank store, giving shoppers a chance to whet their whistle whilst holiday shopping.
It’s a trend that is apparently gaining steam throughout the nation. A recent Forbes Magazinearticle pegged retail pop-ups as one of its top five trends that will shift retail’s balance of power in 2019.
The National Restaurant Association has also hailed pop-up restaurants as one of its top-10 trends of the year, giving restaurateurs an opportunity to test new concepts or reach new audiences.