Pop-Up Stores Gain Popularity in Airports, Domestically and Internationally

Pop-up shops in airports are gaining international recognition and success, reports USA Today. These small (yet fruitful) and transient retail enterprises have already made headlines in malls and upscale shopping streets; more recently pop-up shops have burst onto the airport scene in an impactful way.

“From a business standpoint, it’s a great idea,” said Ramon Lo, editorial director of Airport Revenue News. “Short-term leases can give vendors a chance to dip their toes into the airport arena and build awareness for street-side locations,” while allowing airports to vet new operators and, often, fill unused spaces, he said.

Pop-up restaurants have been a huge hit at Copenhagen Airport, where top Danish chefs served special tasting menus from an open kitchen. Every few months a different company creates a pop-up in the “Brand Box” in the airport’s main tax-free shop.

In October 2013, JetBlue hosted a three-day Farmers Market in T5 at JFK International Airport. “That was such a successful pop-up experience that we’re now looking at how we can integrate it more on a regular basis,” said JetBlue spokeswoman Tamara Young.

Hickory Farms tested the idea of a Holiday Market shop at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport during the most recent holiday season.

It can often take some negotiation with airports to secure the space for pop-ups, “but airports are motivated and sometimes ask for these pop-ups because they of course share in the benefit of the sales,” explained Hudson Group spokeswoman Laura Samuels.


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