Pop-Up Stores Aim to Disrupt Grocery

Pop Up Grocer’s temporary stores feature new, better-for-you brands in a boutique setting.

February 17, 2020

VENICE BEACH, Calif.—Pop Up Grocer, a “traveling pop-up grocery store,” has migrated to the West Coast with its first California venue, Retail Wire reports. The New York-based business ran two temporary stores in Manhattan in 2019 and is now taking its boutique approach to a broader audience.

The Venice Beach pop-up, open Feb. 7 to March 1, has more than 150 new, better-for-you items in beverage, body care, food, home and pet categories.

“We’re not here for the purpose of your weekly haul of milk, eggs and toilet paper,” said Emily Schildt, who founded the concept. “We want to introduce people to the newest and most interesting products.”

The company uses the space to create a curated shopping experience in a modern, sleek environment. “Pop Up Grocer creates an environment that still feels like a grocery store—product, shelves, fridges—but is fresh enough to take you out of your normal, passive shopping behavior,” the company said. “They create a backdrop for exploration with a space that is friendly and inviting, with the use of colors and smileys—even a living room for lounging and gathering.”

Pop Up Grocer also hosts evening events such as food and culture discussions and tastings to assist retailers in connecting with new brands. “There are big, mass retail stores with an overwhelming amount of product, and then there are small boutique retail stores that are sparse and often pretentious,” said Schildt. “What I wanted was a space that felt friendly, fun and inviting, and offered me only the best of what’s available.”

The retailer will have a pop-up in Austin this spring. Other companies, such as Kellogg’s and King’s Hawaiian, have begun to use temporary locations as a way to test new products.