How Pop-Up Retail Permits Work

pop up store

If you read our last blog “How to Permit a Lifestyle Center,” you have a general concept of lifestyle centers and the permits required to perform construction work on them. Keeping pace with lifestyle centers, let’s discuss pop-up retail and how it relates to lifestyle centers.

Pop-up retail, sometimes called “flash sales,” is a temporary retail space. Have you ever been to a costume store for Halloween that was only around during the month of October? Pop-ups are often holiday- or event-specific and only stick around for a short time. Retailers also utilize pop-up stores to test out a new location or concept and get an idea of the public’s interest. You can usually find pop-ups in lifestyle centers, malls, or other shopping centers.

White BoxA ‘white box’ is an operable space that can be used by pop-up tenants without requiring significant alterations to the space. It’s typically a blank, open space with general mechanical, electrical, and plumbing fixtures. Lifestyle centers will sometimes allocate ‘white box’ spaces for pop-up retailers to rent out temporarily.

When a retailer makes major modifications to a commercial space like a white box, it is referred to as a tenant improvement (TI). For example, if a pop-up retailer wishes to install new lights or add temporary walls/partitions, they will need to obtain permits for the TI. Let’s discuss what type of permits a pop-up store may need before making such changes and additions…

pop up shopBuilding Permits – Any major changes to the space will usually require a building permit. This entails any electric, mechanical, or plumbing work conducted to make the store fit better for its purpose. As I mentioned, pop-up stores will often add walls or change lighting which is where a building permit comes in.

Racking If a pop-up retailer plans to put in racking over 5 feet and 9 inches, they’re usually going to need a racking permit. This includes a plan check process where a plan reviewer looks over calculations that show anchorage, weight-bearing capacity, and more.

Sign Permit If a pop-up store is changing the signage, even temporarily, it is usually required to have a sign permit. In some cases, if just utilizing a banner rather than a sign, a tenant may be able to simply obtain the landlord’s approval rather than going through a plan check.

Permit Advisors specializes in Tenant Improvement permits like the ones you see above.  We support both pop-up and permanent stores in lifestyle centers and individual spaces. We go beyond just submitting plans, as you may have experienced with previous expediters. We have established strong relationships with officials of many municipalities and have numerous time and cost-saving strategies that we implement to efficiently complete projects.


  • Lifestyle Center
  • Pop Up Permits
  • pop up retail permits
  • Pop Up Store
  • Pop-Up Retail
  • Racking Permit
  • retail permits
  • Tenant Improvement
Jul 14, 2018 By admin