From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director

Pop-up shops offer advantages for businesses and property owners
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
Pop-up shops are a great way to test the waters of a new business, and showcase a vacant ready-for-business property. Grayling Main Street (GMSt) is proud to partner with local property owners and entrepreneurs to present the first Downtown Grayling Pop-Up! January 25-28 you can experience the tasty cupcakes of Melissa’s Sweet-N-Treats at 108 Michigan Avenue. For details about this event please visit our website or Facebook page.
GMSt is constantly looking for ways to assist and grow our district’s businesses, repair properties, and fill vacancies. One method we have dabbled in previously is pop-up shops. You may recall having seen a variation of these during recent retail events. Some types of pop-up shops you may already be familiar with include: Halloween stores, fireworks stands, Christmas Tree sellers, seasonal displays in the grocery store, special designers at clothing stores, and farmer’s markets.
Over the last decade, the nation has seen a surge in pop-up shops, outside of major retailer’s sales floors and outside of the traditional seasonal times. Some sources attribute the rebound of retail to the increase of short-term engagements, or pop-up shops. This tool allows businesses, property owners, and communities, countless advantages in a rapidly evolving market.
One of the most notable impacts, for a business, is the relatively low financial risk associated with a short-term lease and limited inventory. This kind of set-up allows an entrepreneur to market, make connections, and collect data, with less capital  Interest is usually high, because people love exclusives and limited-edition, and overhead is low due to the short window in which it is done. Businesses of any size, can collect data on traffic, inventory popularity, and the feeling of the public regarding their presence. This information can then be used to identify if that location, or one similar, would be a good long-term fit. Established businesses often use them to test products, build recognition for a new line, increase brand visibility (especially if they are usually only accessible online), and to liquidate excess inventory.
These types of arrangements are becoming more and more attractive to property owners as well.  Following a hike in rent costs, and a decline in brick and mortar retail sales, countless building across the nation were left vacant. Pop-up shops, shared work spaces, and other short-term leases, allow property owners to realize some revenue, while also showcasing the potential of the storefront or building. Nothing sells a property like seeing something succeed in it.
Consumers and communities also benefit from pop-ups. The exclusivity of the product or service, certainly contributes to the morale of a place. Being part of something temporary makes you feel special, and makes the place feel special.  This feeling can serve as a reminder of the importance of place, and the value of supporting its revitalization or maintenance. Short engagements also help residents to realize what they really need, or want, in a space and from providers. Finally, pop-ups often attract folks that may not usually visit the neighborhood; thus, bringing new commerce, temporarily strengthening the local economy, and providing an opportunity to market the destination.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling?  Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website,, find them on Facebook, or email questions to
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next. 

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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