2019 National Planning Conference

Pop-Up! Retail

Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198239

Location: 3018

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  • Understand the critical need to support short-term, pop-up retail and commercial uses given the rapidly changing demands of retailers and consumers.
  • Adapt regulatory and permitting processes to facilitate diverse and local pop-up retail.
  • Apply incubation strategies such as Popuphood’s Popup to Permenant retail program and Downtown Memphis’ Pop-Up on Main program to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems and catalyze local economic development.


Small towns and large cities across the country are grappling with storefront vacancies. The rise of online shopping, oversupply of retail space, and shifting consumer preferences have led to a retail industry shakeup and retailers that are not adapting quickly are being forced out of their street-level spaces. This condition has been made more challenging by traditional lease structures and regulatory frameworks that are no longer favorable to creative small businesses with limited start-up capital seeking flexibility. Fortunately, innovative municipalities and downtown organizations have turned to pop-up retail concepts to fill ground floor vacancies. Although temporary in nature, these businesses often turn into long-term tenants or generate new foot traffic for a district. As these temporary uses become essential to re-establishing the density on commercial corridors, cities must incorporate supportive programs and regulatory processes to lower barriers to entry for pop-up retail. This session brings together private and public sector experts in the emerging trend of pop-up retail to provide guidance on flexible permitting processes and sustainable programmatic tools and resources to build support for diverse local retail.


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Session Speakers

Sarah R. Filley
Popuphood, LLC
Los Angeles, CA

Nur Asri, AICP Candidate
Karp Associates
New York, NY

Brett Roler, AICP
Downtown Memphis Commission
Memphis, TN