Look what’s poppin’ up all over!

Pop Up BroadwayPop . . . pop . . . pop.

What’s that you hear?  Is it the sound of my old school favorite snack, Jiffy Pop Popcorn?

Unfortunately not.

It’s the sound of the newest fad in retail . . . the pop-up store.

For those of you who don’t have a poppin’ clue what I’m talking about, a pop-up store is a shop that takes over a retail space for a short period of time, usually around a certain event, and then is gone . . . almost as fast as it came.

One of the first successful examples of this in the city was the Halloween Costume pop-ups that started appearing a few years ago in the weeks leading up to Halloween.  And then, when the sun rose on November, like a ghostly spirit they disappeared . . . only to return again the following year.

There was one such Halloween pop-up in the space-formerly-occupied-by-Colony Records.

And after it disappeared like Brigadoon this year, another pop-up took its place.  And this one was selling Christmas (see photo below).

Christmas Store

Well imagine my surprise when I walked by what used to be my favorite slice place in Manhattan just one block away from Colony, and found another pop-up Christmas store in its place.

I gotta hand it to the owners of the real estate for loosening up their usual year long leases and finding a way to monetize their “dark time” between long term tenants.  The pop-up store is a win-win for both sides.

And obviously it’s working.

It’s working so well that I see it expanding pretty soon to other areas.  Like, oh, I don’t know . . . tickets?

We’re in the busiest time of the year right now. Those huge numbers that were posted in last week’s grosses (Kinky Boots grossed 1.9 million!  Take that Twitter-bombers!) are just the beginning.  Wait until you see what happens in the week between Christmas and New Year’s!

So I think it’s just a matter of time before someone pops up a store to take advantage of all those people roaming around through Times Square looking for a show.  But who will it be?

Will it be Telecharge?  Ticketmaster?  Broadway.com?  Or . . . another broker?  (There’s already one broker that has a store a block away from the booth, and it seems to be doing decent enough business.)

Online sales are great.  But at certain times of the year, an ol’ fashioned brick and mortar strategically placed can capture people that the web can’t.

A pop-up ticket store will happen.  The only question is who will get there first.

(Oh, and btw, the title of this blog is a heck of a lot more fun if you read it to the tune of “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” from Carousel.)



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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.