Inspiring Spaces

City funded shipping container Pop-Up Stores are helping local brands thrive

A new approach to urban renewal 

California has been flourishing as a result of the growth of start-up companies and large businesses moving into the San Francisco/Bay Area. This surge in population has subsequently increased the attendance at sporting events, concerts, restaurants and shopping districts on Main Street. In certain areas, high foot-traffic is hard to come by as a result of less publicized community events. There is a need for resurgence in the world of local retail.

San Jose has devoted resources to build new experiences with their existing spaces. San Jose is home to a number of large shopping centers and major stadiums. To remedy the need to boost retail potential, the city has decided to rely on a new approach to urban renewal. A way to drive traffic to the heart of the lesser-known parts of their city.

The result, urban Pop-Up Stores.

Meet Adam

Many major cities are encouraging commerce by taking a unique approach to defining what a retail space is. The expansion and introduction of new brands and luxury brands are encouraging not only the local experience, but also providing new destinations for tourists. It’s an opportunity for new and established retail brands to tell their story and grow their fan base.

Adam Mayberry and his colleagues have started a shipping container Pop-Up that provides a semi-permanent location for online businesses to take their customer experience offline. Adam collaborated with the City of San Jose to formalize a partnership focused on creating a new experience for the residents and visitors of the city.

His clothing brand, The Die Hard Company, designs apparel specifically for the sport enthusiast. Their gear is Made in San Francisco/Bay Area to meet the specifications of the diehard Bay Area sports fans. This is particularly smart business since the shipping container is mobile and the HP Pavilion is just a stones throw away.

Says Adam of his brand and experience, “We are a small online business, so Pop-Up stores are the way we test the local market with minimal investment. As an architectural professional, the Pop-Up container is a small urban intervention project we built to join the conversation of revitalizing retail in downtown San Jose, capital of Silicon Valley. We were the first Pop-Up operation in San Jose when we took over a vacant restaurant for Black Friday through the holidays in 2010. This the first time we’ve curated a space for other companies to Pop-Up. It’s a very exciting time.”

Adam Mayberry’s shop for collaborating brands was funded by a grant issued by the city. He is currently looking for a permanent space for his shop to create more opportunity for other small businesses like The Die Hard Company.

Your city wants you to change retail

On July 8th, 2014, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the funding of three new projects aimed at building a more vibrant, livable San Jose through public space and urban planning improvements, as well as engagement opportunities that will bring residents together to improve their city.

Led by a range of community development organizations, the projects are aligned with the city of San Jose’s Envision 2040 plan, which is the grant that supported Adam’s project. This plan aims to build a more walkable, mixed-use downtown core with easy access to transit and other amenities while creating more options for residents to connect. Like the plan, each of the projects addresses a growing need to curb the city’s suburban sprawl in order to remain competitive and take a major part in the Bay Area’s growth.

Shipping Containers are becoming the solution to stagnant retail environments. “As a fast-growing city, San Jose has an essential role to play in the future success of the Bay Area—but it needs to seize the opportunity,” said George Abbott, Knight Foundation interim program director in San Jose. “These projects will advance urban transformation in the area; they will also help attract and retain new talent to the city while ensuring residents have a stake in its success.”

How Get your brand in a pop-up container

The Die Hard pop-up shop will remain in its current San Jose location through May 2015.

You can book Adam’s pop-up container here on Storefront.

If you’re not in the Bay Area, search Storefront in your city for local space owners who are eager to collaborate with brands and amazing build Pop-Up Store events.

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