Pop-up retail helping businesses and urban revitalization - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pop-up retail helping businesses and urban revitalization

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The Sidewalk Film Festival gave people something extra to see.

Pop-up retail appeared at the event for the first time helping spotlight businesses and showcase vacant space.

REV Birmingham has seen great success with pop up retail, especially during the film fest.

The strategy is a tool for urban revitalization. But, it's also helping jump start businesses.

The Shaw family packed up their new business venture "Magic City Sweet Ice" Monday after a successful weekend at the annual Sidewalk Film Festival.

David Shaw says, "The sales were really good and we had a lot of repeat customers that came back."

They set up shop outside a vacant space in the theatre district. Right now, they don't have a store. "It gave us a big opportunity to showcase our product to a lot of different people."

Pop-up retail gives Shaw and other budding business owners a chance to see how successful they can be.

But it also gives established businesses.. like Yellow Hammer Creative Company more exposure. It brought this vacant space to life during the film fest.

Sean Humphries says, "A lot of people don't even realize we're in Avondale and that we have a shop. So, if we can get the word out by working these festivals, get people to come by the shop, the more the better." "It would be nice if we could move into this shop right here and have another spot downtown."

Atticus Rominger with REV Birmingham says that's one goal of a pop-up, but there's an even greater value. "The greatest value is in the fact they were able to introduce their concept to a new group of potential customers. They were able to try out business concepts and pricing, try the logistics of running a business and see if it's something they want to do and a model that really works."

And for the Shaw family, the concept is already giving them ideas. David Shaw says, "We would like to be part of the revitalization of a neighborhood whether it would be downtown or Avondale or Woodlawn."

REV Birmingham says people can expect to see more pop-up retail in the future. Whenever, it starts up a pop-up project.. it will issue a call for applications.

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