Hip, small stores will start making their way into subway stations for short-term stays under a new MTA program. The shops, known as ‘pop up stores,’ will receive month-to-month leases from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for small retail spaces that are temporarily vacant while the agency is arranging long-term leases.
The MTA piloted the concept in July by hosting The Newsstand, an indy-oriented media seller at the Lorimer St/Metropolitan Av station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The first store that is formally a part of this new initiative is a pop-up branch of UNIQLO, the clothing retailer. The shop opens today at the Union Square Station.
“At UNIQLO, our goal is to bring new and exciting shopping experiences to our customers, and we want to provide New Yorkers with the opportunity to shop for cold weather clothing in the subway before they have to head out into the winter weather. This shop fits perfectly with our strong belief in the fundamental power of clothing to improve people’s lives, and trust that it will provide people with comfort and warmth during the winter season,” said Larry Meyer, COO of UNIQLO USA.
The pop-up store initiative allows small entrepreneurs, online businesses and established corporations to rent space in generally “as-is” condition to provide high visibility exposure for products or services where the emphasis is on displaying merchandise as much as actually conducting on-site transactions. In some cases, retail customers would be encouraged to make their purchases online or at larger stores off site.
“Pop-up stores will provide a fresh and beneficial element to our stations while also improving the image and desirability of retail space in the subway,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “This is another example of the MTA working to make better use of its real estate portfolio and improving the subway environment for customers at the same time.”
“The younger generations are gravitating to the subway system as never before,” said MTA Real Estate Director Jeffrey B. Rosen. “They are savvy about shopping online. Retailers want to reach them where they are, which is our subway system. We are glad to be able to offer space in our stations to facilitate this new business niche.”