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by Steve Adams

Quincy, MA – Retailers increasingly use temporary stores to cash in on holiday shopping

It’s one of the oldest gimmicks in marketing: “for a limited time only.”

Now, a growing number of retail chains are turning to that age-old strategy and opening temporary stores at local malls. So-called “pop-up stores” give them a toehold at retail properties during key shopping periods, such as the holiday season.

As Spirit Halloween stores in Hanover and Pembroke wound down operations this week, Toys ‘R’ Us set up shop for a temporary run at Braintree’s South Shore Plaza, the Hanover Mall and Kingston’s Independence Mall.

Brookstone, Burlington Coat Factory, the Borders bookstore chain and gourmet gift basket retailer Harry & David all are opening local pop-up stores to capture holiday gift-giving revenues.

With retail vacancies lingering around 13 percent nationwide and 10 percent in eastern Massachusetts, mall owners are increasingly willing to rent to temporary stores.

“In troubled centers where you want to give the appearance of full occupancy to the shopper, you fill the space (with a temporary tenant) rather than have dead space with no rental income,” said Robert Sheehan, vice president of research for KeyPoint Partners of Burlington.

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