Beyond the Buzz: Assessing Pop-Up Risks

Jay TaylorA Cheetos-themed restaurant. A St. Ives skin care product mixing bar. A Metallica gear shop. Pop-up stores have come a long way.

If you’re looking to move from online to a physical location, generate more buzz for your brand, or create an immersive customer experience, you’re likely considering a pop-up shop.

You’ve probably spent countless hours on your marketing plan, analyzing everything from social media to sales projections. If you’re like most, safety and security may not be top of mind. Yet basic loss prevention measures can not only help safeguard your new shop but also boost its impact. Here are a few key considerations:

Choose the right space.
Your environment should be not only aesthetic, but safe. When you’re envisioning what the space could be, take a close look at what it is. For instance:

  • If the space has been vacant, look for subtle signs of neglect or disrepair, and assess the potential implications. Water stains, for example, indicate leaks. That’s not just an aesthetic issue; water can also can damage products or create a slipping hazard for employees or customers.
  • Measure not just your specific space, but the adjacent area. Is there enough room to accommodate the amount of traffic you anticipate? An overcrowded entry can discourage customers and create dangerous conditions.

Use reliable, secure technology.
Data security is extremely challenging even for the largest, most established retailers. Adding portable technology and new surroundings to the mix compounds the issue. Key considerations include:

  • Portable payment systems are constantly evolving. Using reliable, up-to-date technology helps minimize potential for downtime while safeguarding sensitive customer data. Utilize a professional who knows the ins and outs of portable technology in your planning and installation.
  • Some landlords may offer wi-fi. Don’t take them up on it. Having your own private, secure connection will help you complete transactions more quickly and securely.
  • Follow your existing data security policies and processes at your new location. They may need to be adapted to address new equipment and interfaces.

Screen and train employees.
Even short-term employees have the potential to make a big impression, whether positive or negative.

  • Background and reference checks can help you identify employees who potentially pose work-related challenges ranging from performance issues to criminal records.
  • Training your employees in emergency preparedness, workplace safety, and data security may seem unnecessary for a short stint—but it’s far better than facing injuries or lawsuits. Employee training also helps protect your customers and business.

Fit your insurance to your new location.
Will your current insurance respond to a loss at your pop-up? Talk to your agent or broker to see if any adjustments are needed.


Jay Taylor, CSP, ARM, is Vice President within Chubb Risk Engineering Services. Mr. Taylor has more than 26 years of experience in the casualty risk engineering field and has deep expertise working with clients in the real estate and hospitality industry.

Categories: Cyber Risk, General Risk, Property

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