How to Approach Mall Owners with Your Pop-Up Idea

26 January 2021

You're excited about your retail idea and you can see it working as a pop-up shop. Learn how to sell that idea to a potential landlord.

How to Approach Mall Owners with Your Pop-Up Idea
You’ve got a great idea and you want to see it come to life in the form of a pop-up shop. But how do you package that enthusiasm and get the landlord to appreciate and understand your great idea?

Your biggest advantage is that all landlords want to see their property occupied rather than vacant. Most are concerned about short term profit and are starting to realise that long-term stability in retail is not quite as dependable as it once was. That’s why they’re starting to consider pop-ups, which are still a very new entrant to the South African market.

Landlords want to see their spaces filled with positive, busy shops that bring customers and keep them coming back. And they want to work with retailers who know their product, understand their industry and are easy to get along with. They also want tenants who will treat their customers with respect because that reflects on the property you occupy and the other retailers that you share it with.

As a prospective tenant, you need to demonstrate your product to the landlord. You need to show what you are selling, how you will package it and what the customer experience will look like. If the landlord can relate to your idea, then it’s much more likely that you will secure a pop-up rental.

When presenting your idea to the landlord, consider the following priorities:
  • Tell the story of how your idea was conceived as well as what value it adds to the customer and how it will benefit the landlord and the community.
  • Share your business model and a simple business plan so that you exhibit your ability to research and plan for a successful pop-up
  • Make sure your understanding of your financing for your pop-up is clear before you negotiate so that you can discuss expected costs, cost structures and projected profits. This will build your credibility and will help your negotiations on rental rates.
  • Present a one-page report that highlights benefits to the landlord. This could include an attractive retail space, increased foot traffic, potential long-term tenants etc.
  • Use case studies to demonstrate the value of pop-up shops and how they increase exposure with younger customers, generate goodwill etc.
  • Give the landlord time to review your business plan and follow up after a few days.
Pop-ups are new to everybody so it’s understandable that there may be lots of questions. Make sure you’re able and prepared to answer them!

SpaceMatch allows you to find vacant retail spaces, connecting you with countless potential landlords and holding your hand along the way. If you need any help or advice in finding your perfect space, please contact us at