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Brookfield Properties-Retail-Retailvisory-You have brick-and-mortar options

You have brick-and-mortar options

Pop-ups, RMUs, kiosks, and inline store formats – which is right for you?

Whether you’re an e-commerce brand looking to build an omnichannel presence, a small business looking to test out a market, or an individual trying to figure out where to begin in your brick-and-mortar journey, the value of a physical shopping experience cannot be denied. (Don’t believe us? Check out our data-backed article on the benefits of brick-and-mortar retail).

To put you on the path toward brick-and-mortar success, we’ve broken down four store options that allow you to be in the retail world without signing a permanent lease: pop-up units, RMUs, kiosks, and temporary inline spaces. Read on to find the best fit for your brand.

  1. Option #1: Pop-up units

    Are you a maker or small business owner looking to see if a brick-and-mortar retail location is right for you, but are nervous about the commitment of opening a location? Testing your business with a pop-up unit may be perfect! Pop-up units have flexible deal terms — some even as short as a day or a weekend — where you can display your product at the mall among shoppers who are already in the mood to buy. Many malls have dedicated pop-up fixtures you can use, making it easy to bring your products and set up in minutes.

  1. Option #2: RMUs

    Retail merchandising units (sometimes called RMUs or carts) are mobile structures typically available in the common areas at the mall, putting you in the middle of the action. These small-footprint, pre-built, mall-owned units make displaying your products easy. Just bring your merchandise, utilize the built-in counters, shelves, and fixtures, style it up, and voilà — your mini shop is ready! RMUs give you the ability to be open at the mall every day but require no build-out. For those that have limited inventory or smaller products, this store format allows you to test the waters while capitalizing on the mall cross-shopping to gain new customers.

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  1. Option #3: Kiosks

    For brands looking to have a physical footprint and wanting to customize how their location looks, a kiosk could be a great option. Presentation is key — pre-owned kiosks can be remodeled to fit your need, or you can build a kiosk from the ground up for a highly customized look. At Brookfield Properties, our design department can help bring your kiosk vision to life with ideation and renderings if design assistance is needed. Additionally, if utilities such as sinks or kitchen appliances are needed for your business, a kiosk is the only common-area option that can accommodate. Though kiosks require a longer-term agreement and a more in-depth build-out than previously mentioned formats, the customization options of a kiosk is perfect for businesses wanting to get serious about expanding in brick-and-mortar but still want some flexibility to test.


  2. Option #4: Temporary inline store

    Inline stores are the traditional store spaces you think of in a mall — those that flank the main mall or wing spaces. When these spaces become vacant, potentially waiting for their next permanent leases to start, these spaces may be available for short-term opportunities. This is the perfect situation for businesses that want to see what it feels like to operate a full store, but don’t want to sign on for a permanent agreement. Out of all formats listed in this article, inline stores can often provide you with more square footage, but that also means you need to have enough product to fill the store so that it doesn’t look empty. These spaces come in a variety of conditions based on their tenant — you could utilize fixtures and designs that work perfectly with your brand or look for an inline space that is a “white box” where you can start from scratch. To get a better feel for what temporary inline spaces look like, check out our online leasing platform to view inline stores available at some of our malls around the country right now.

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Any of these specialty leasing options are great for businesses wanting to get in the brick-and-mortar game, expand their footprint strategy, or test markets with a smaller investment. They provide flexibility with options to fit your needs, timeline, and budget while allowing you to be a part of the mall environment, which has many built-in benefits.

Chat with an expert about which retail format is right for you.

Get in touch with a Brookfield Properties leasing expert here.

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