Seasonal Retail Grows in Orlando

Discussion
Oct 17, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

When most people think of seasonal retail in Orlando, Fla., they have visions of shoppers visiting stores during the prime tourist season.

For those who live in and around the land that Disney built, however, seasonal retail refers to the increasing number of businesses that pop up for a short period, either in
mall or vacant store locations, and then close down after a given selling season, such as Halloween or Christmas, has passed.

A case in point is the Halloween Express superstore operated by franchisee Evelyn Fisher who, according to the Orlando Sentinel, took time off from her Osceola public
school job to open a store in an empty retail building in Casselberry.

Ms. Fisher has just opened her second temporary store location and she is looking for big things this year as she said customers are looking for any excuse to take a break from
reality.

Cynthia Cohen, president of Strategic Mindshare, said Halloween is near the top for retail holiday sales periods so stores such as Ms. Fisher’s make a lot of sense. Ms. Cohen
said stores such as Halloween Express do well with low rent overhead and low costs for inventory because the goods sold in the store are produced cheaply overseas. Add in strong
demand during holiday selling seasons, and the return is high for owners.

Moderator’s Comment: Will temporary seasonal stores (aka pop up stores) become more ubiquitous? Are they a threat to stores that are in business year
round? What do these types of ventures offer retailers that operate permanent store locations?

Target, Apple and others have used pop up stores to great benefit and exposure for their retail banner/brand.
George Anderson – Moderator

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5 Comments on "Seasonal Retail Grows in Orlando"


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Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

Gotta tell you guys – I’ve been seeing ads in our newspapers over here telling people how dangerous Florida is, with its shoot first ask questions later law. Especially inadvisable, say the ads, is risking any kind of discussion or argument that could escalate, particularly if cars are involved. That ain’t gonna do a whole lot for tourism or the economy.

Doug Fleener
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

Pop-up stores aren’t much different than the carts out in front of the stores in the mall. They help the developer maximize their investment, offer the customers more retailers to choose from, and creates more competition for the year round retailer. While I think stores like Halloween Express and other seasonal stores can add to the overall shopping experience, I do believe developers need to be careful to not impede on those retailers who pay rent year around.

Len Lewis
Guest
Len Lewis
15 years 4 months ago

I don’t know if they’re a threat to regular retailers. People are kind of funny about making purchases from a storefront they know won’t be around in a month.

However, it is an interesting concept. Target has been very successful with their pop up stores. So have other apparel and general merchandise retailers. It’s not only a way to sell merchandise, it’s a way to keep the name out there all the time in unexpected ways. It’s an effective way of creating events in smaller venues that wouldn’t normally support a regular store.

I think more retailers, even supermarkets, should look into the idea of pop-up retailing. I know others will be.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
15 years 4 months ago

Pop Up Stores – How oft the sight of opportunities to do extra business make such opportunities well worth doing. So if the established retailers won’t act, enterprising folks always will thereby giving consumers a temporary change opportunity to their patterned purchasing processes.

Those retailers with long and expensive leases should do as the entrepreneurs mentioned above do: take advantage of these special short-term opportunities so they get a share of seasonal “pop-up” business. But to do that, they would have to alter their prevailing retail mindsets.

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

I don’t know if they still do it, but for a while the Mills Corp rented space in their malls on 30-day terms, and offered to supply POS computer systems and staffing, too. Mills had several goals: (1) let manufacturers and importers test factory outlet retail strategies; (2) make the malls more interesting since the temporary stores were unpredictable; and (3) get some revenue for space that would’ve been vacant. All 3 goals were achieved. Within a mall, every store’s traffic is partly dependent on traffic that the other stores bring. Vacancies bring no traffic. And the regular tenants can always make an offer to rent vacant space temporarily. For creative retailers this can be an opportunity.

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