8 Benefits to Using a Shipping Container for Your Retail Pop-Up
May 2021

8 Benefits to Using a Shipping Container for Your Retail Pop-Up

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Retail pop-ups are literally popping up everywhere. The trend for on-the-fly shopping opportunities for avid shopaholics who can’t resist a bargain, or have to have the latest on-trend items for everything, is growing rapidly. Pop-ups are also an excellent option for piloting the idea of opening a brick-and-mortar store before you sign on the dotted line for a longer-term commitment.

Regardless of the reason you are thinking of a retail pop-up event, finding the right spot for your shop can be a challenge. However, an exciting trend that allows you to remain mobile while offering the perfect size space for your new customer experience, is using a converted shipping container. Here we explore pop-ups and eight benefits to using a shipping container.

What is a retail pop-up?

Retail pop-ups offer a temporary brick-and-mortar retail shop. They became popular with the arrival of so many online shops that wanted to explore the benefits of having some sort of brick-and-mortar location. However, they also became an excellent boots-on-the-ground form of experiential marketing, allowing retailers of all sizes from boutiques to global retailers to expand their reach and connect with their audience in a more meaningful way.

Today, retail pop-up events are much anticipated by customers who want to find new ways to interact with their favourite brands. However, a challenge of the retail pop-up for smaller companies is the cost. Because it can be hard to find an affordable temporary retail or commercial space that’s convenient for your customers, you need new ideas that offer more affordable options. This has led to the modified shipping container concept.

How is a shipping container used for a retail pop-up?

The standard ISO shipping container offers a perfect modular base to create an intriguing retail location. They can easily and affordably be modified for a variety of purposes and kitted out with shelves, display cases and of course, electricity and plumbing, to create the ideal pop-up location.

8 Benefits of the Shipping Container Retail Pop-Up

Here’s why you should consider a modified shipping container for your store:

1. Events for the ‘busy season’

You might find you need more space for inventory during the busy seasons such as Christmas, Boxing Day or the highly popular Black Friday.

2. Sell off old inventory

Every retailer faces the challenge of getting rid of old inventory to make room for new stock. Your shipping container is the ideal solution to store these items, and open the doors during business hours to sell off your old to make room for the new. Also, the novelty of the selling vehicle might draw attention to items that were previously unsaleable.

3. Your choice of locations

You can shop around for potential locations for your pop-up. Since shipping containers are mobile you can plan a single event with a rental or go all out and invest in the purchase of a modified container customized for your needs. You can then travel around from site to site to help spread brand awareness.

4. Start an experiential retail campaign

Fickle customers today demand stimulation and new experiences to remain brand loyal. As a result, the trend for finding new ways to engage customers through experiential marketing is key to your success.

The pop-up is a perfect example of experiential marketing at work, creating new experiences for your customers while attracting new customers to your edgy brand. It provides a far more interesting shopping experience and can be combined with other marketing initiatives. For example, you can set up a backdrop for social media pics and encourage shares by providing hashtags related to your brand and event to generate more interest.

5. Target key locations

As already mentioned, the shipping container model is ideal because it is so mobile. When you are either trying to expand your market or meet up in areas where you are popular, you can’t find an easier way to do it than with a shipping container. They are self-contained so they can travel with your inventory to avoid challenges with setting up. Just drive up, hook up and open your doors. Consider them a metal tent, without the poles and hassle.

6. Easy modifications

You can really create the ideal setup with easy, affordable modifications for your container. Once repurposed, your container has the ideal layout, display fixtures and hookups that allow you to serve your customers in a unique, inviting space.

7. Expand on your property

If you have a commercial space with a parking lot or other dead space surrounding your store, you can expand your retail space in an affordable way. Your pop-up doesn’t always have to be a travelling show and instead, can be used as a novel way to show off your goods. Showcase new arrivals, highlight sale items or even include demonstrations to attract attention. All of this is easily done from your retail container.

8. Fast modifications

We can modify your shipping container quickly allowing you to get out there and start selling. Instead of worrying about leases and costly renovations, your customized retail shipping container is easily and affordably designed to your order. Our team works fast to complete your project from start to finish. You then have the ideal travelling retail space ready to go whenever you need it.

Why shipping containers?

Shipping container pop-ups are:

  • Highly secure and easy to lock up at closing time
  • Portable for easy transportation to wherever you need to go
  • Self-contained so you ship, store, and sell from one convenient container
  • Quick construction so you can utilize your container sooner
  • Edgy in design to attract a more diverse audience and customer base

If you want to provide unique customer experiences and help your brand stand out from the rest, a retail shipping container provides an affordable, versatile location to peddle your wares.

If you would like to know more about using shipping containers in Toronto, call Sigma Containers at 855-340-3342 or contact us here.

Tom Bray is a freelance writer with over five years experience writing for online publications and over ten years in business and sales. He studied journalism and media and has written for various online outlets on multiple topics. His specialty subjects are shipping containers and transport logistics.

Tom’s passion for writing and transport logistics motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that can show you how a shipping container can be effectively utilized and modified to each person’s needs.

You can connect with Tom via email at