Shipping containers are versatile “boxes” that that can be used as-is, with just a few fixtures and fittings inside, for innovative pop-up shops. Instead of tying yourself into a typically lengthy, and relatively costly lease for premises, shipping container rental is an effective alternative that gives you freedom too.
Take your pop-up shop on the road. Follow the crowds and start trading anywhere, anytime – within reason, depending on local bylaws and licensing requirements. Park off for a limited time and lock up overnight to keep your stock safe and secure.
Pop-up container shops are, quite literally, popping up all over the world, offering affordable temporary shop space for a vast range of businesses, including restaurants and coffee shops.
You will find converted container pop-up shops in all major cities, including many South African city centres. Many house individual retail business enterprises, while there are also a number of innovative shopping malls created with used containers. These take shipping container rental possibilities to a whole new level.
The trend first started in the early 21st century, with maverick entrepreneurs and under-financed start-ups recognizing the enormous potential of storage containers for rent. Perhaps the best marketing exercise for shipping container pop-up stores was the launch of the now hugely popular Boxpark pop-up shopping mall in Shoreditch, East London, UK in 2011. Made from used shipping containers that were stripped and refitted, it provides 40 pop-up spaces that house restaurants, cafes, fashion outlets, galleries, and other retail businesses. There is now a second Boxpark in Croydon, and a third is scheduled to open in Wembley late 2018.
Of course, while the Boxparks can be easily dismantled, they don’t offer the mobile option.
South Africa’s first pop-up shopping centre was opened in Johannesburg in 2015. This comprises 27 customized shipping containers but, like Boxpark, does not offer the opportunity for mobility.
Shopping mall options aside, pop-up stores may be housed in customized containers that incorporate doors and windows, and various typical shop-fitting elements, including counters and facilities for storage. Often, a container will be used as the base of a pop-up operation with some sort of constructed addition providing a different type of space. So, for instance, a pop-up restaurant might operate out of a container, while an adjacent patio or glass-enclosed area is used for seating.
The other obvious option is to look at storage containers for rent with the view to trading from them and also using them to lock up equipment and stock after hours. In this instance, low container rental prices will impact positively on your bottom line. Because no customization is required, this will also potentially add to profits. The other benefit of this type of shipping container rental is that the container can be used for a short period of time if required. Since there’s no major investment in terms of shop fitting or additional construction, it really is a true pop-up solution for any retail business.
Almar Container Group specializes in container rental services to meet every possible need from international transportation of goods across continents and oceans, to storage rental that will meet the needs of literally any type of pop-up shop.
Last Christmas, the KwaZulu Natal-based Bench Coffee Co. set up a pop-coffee shop at the beach. They opted for a 3-m container rental and fitted out the “shop” with little more than a trendy wooden counter and the appliances they needed, including a fridge. Of course, they needed electricity, which was provided by an extension cable. Instead of operating from a table or a caravan, they had a secure environment in which to operate and provide customers with the kind of coffee products they are known for.
Bench Coffee Co.’s pop-up outlet was a hit. People flocked for coffee and surfers would ask them to look after their car keys while they were in the water!
If you’d like to explore the option of a pop-up shop, contact Almar for container rental prices and advice. You don’t have to live in Durban or any other part of KZN, Almar operates in southern and eastern Africa and the Middle East and can provide a superior container hire service virtually anywhere in the world. Call us today.