How pop-ups are working in one small town

Store window with a sign that says, "Pop up shop."

Pop-ups are a great way to try new ideas and new businesses in your town. Photo courtesy of the Village of Homewood, Illinois.


Homewood, Illinois, isn’t a big city. Their population of 19,000 makes them a bigger small town, and they are a suburb of Chicago. So this isn’t a tiny town. But they do have a great pop-up retail program going that any town could try out. Here’s the story from their email newsletter, by Paula J. Wallrich, AICP, their Director of Community Development.

On Saturday, there are two Pop-Ups that we’d like to highlight and encourage you to check out as they test the Homewood market to see if it’s “The Right Place” to open additional locations:  The Bookie’s Paperbacks & More, opening up shop at 2025 Ridge Road, featuring hundreds of book titles and EmpanadUS , serving up their Argentinean delights inside Global Fusion for the ultimate world market experience.   The Pop-Up Shops help create a continuous shopping experience in downtown Homewood for all your one-of-a-kind gift-giving and holiday planning needs.

Because the shops aren’t open full time and they’re new in town, Homewood shared a chart of days, times and locations.

“We used a mix of pop-up retailers and window displays to ensure a consistent favorable pedestrian tour of the Homewood central business district,” Paula said. “I also have to mention Rachael Jones, Marketing and Events Director. She was instrumental in making this  happen- a creative genius!”

I love the fact that one restaurant is opening up inside a retail store. They both have a global flavor: the store sells global free trade furniture, the restaurant sells Argentinean empanadas. This cooperation is a great way to lower the barrier to entry, and make it easier for businesses to try something before committing to a big risk.

What pop-ups or temporary businesses are opening in your town for the holidays? Tell us in the comments or hit reply if you’re reading this in your email.

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  1. Ivan Widjaya says

    For us, there will be a lot of bazaars. Most online shops flock to these locations to sell their goods. There are even some brands that are only present there. Then, there is also a night market for those late night Christmas shoppers.


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