Retail space isn’t just for the bigger companies anymore. There was a time, before the latest recession, when you had to be large national company to be able to afford retail space in malls around the country. As we close the books on 2016, there’s something happening in malls and outlets across the country this holiday season that is allowing the little guys and gals get in the retail space game. More landlords are open to the idea of allowing “seasonal stores” to lease their building space.

Now pop up stores or kiosks are not new to holiday shoppers. One can just walk through their local mall or outlets to see everything from honey, wooden toys and puzzles, candles and phone accessories to witness these mobile stores. What is new this season is a glut of retail space inventory and companies not wanting to be locked into long term contracts. This is great for a smaller company that is not quite ready to open a full-time store front. Shorter leases also allow consumers to touch and see products previously only available online.

Truth be told, there are a few things I will only buy after touching testing out, and trying on – shoes, belts, hats, cologne, handbags and luggage, for example. I am sure I am not alone in this.

Another positive outcome for companies that go the seasonal store front route is the perceived “need to get this before they close up shop”. These companies, maybe without even knowing this have created a sense of urgency with consumers. In fact, my colleague was in Manhattan recently and wanted to purchase some luggage from a store front she previously visited. This was a big deal as the luggage was normally only available online. This was her opportunity to drag the suitcases around the store and test them out to see if they’d work for her needs. But, when she visited the site of the luggage store she found out the company was no longer there. She missed her chance. I am willing to bet she won’t make that mistake again. And, there’s the perceived urgency. Mission accomplished.

The other advantage this holiday season for smaller companies is the availability of space at fancy addresses in swanky parts of town. The majority of these outfits wouldn’t be able to afford the costs associated with a store front in these neighborhoods. This phenomenon is magnificently chronicled in a recent piece from the crack journalistic staff at the Wall Street Journal, click this link for the scoop:

I certainly would have no reservations counseling some of my “on their way up” clients to investigate opening up a seasonal store front or even a kiosk to get in front of consumers this holiday. I think it is smart business. Now I am off to buy more honey for my tea and some wooden puzzles to put on my living room coffee table to entertain my holiday guests.