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Walmart Rents Out Holiday-Season Shelf Space

Walmart has made another move toward modernization in the marketplace.

Popable, a popup shop marketplace platform connecting brands and spaces for short-term retail leasing, and Walmart, the largest national retail department store, announced they have entered a strategic partnership that will allow small businesses to rent retail space in Walmart stores across the country for short-term leasing. Small businesses will have the opportunity to rent out popup space in designated Walmart stores without being committed to a long-term lease.

“The growth opportunities for emerging brands are at the heart of Popable’s pop-up shop platform. We are excited to partner with Walmart to bring new brands to local communities while providing small business owners the ability to thrive with some great built-in foot traffic,” said Scott Blair, co-founder and CEO of Popable. “For retailers emerging from a challenging year in the face of post-covid impacts ranging from rising economic concerns to delivery issues at the ports, pop-up retail could be a great way to move excess inventory.”

Here’s how it works. Brands and spaces can list on Popable’s website. Small businesses will then be paired with their local participating Walmart to connect and enter into an agreeable temporary leasing agreement. The timeframe of these leasing agreements will be predetermined by the small business and can range in time from a month up to a year, but could grow to a longer-term agreement. The terms are decided and negotiated by the brands and spaces directly themselves.

Walmart joins forces with Popable for holiday popup shops for small business retailers.

“Supporting small businesses has always been a priority for Walmart. We are proud to work with Popable to offer local brands an opportunity to grow inside our stores,” said Darryl Spinks, senior director of retail services for Walmart. “This is a great example of our focus on offering services unique to the neighborhoods we serve through our store of the community initiative.”

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Walmart is keeping up with the trend of other big-box retailers doing similar experiments, carving out space for curated brands on their shelves.

Macy’s recently launched a curated digital marketplace on its website. In 2018, the retailer launched a series of popup shops in 10 of its stores, giving emerging digitally native brands an opportunity to enter the brick-and-mortar sector. In 2019, Kohl’s launched “curated by Kohl’s” in 50 stores using data from Facebook to pinpoint emerging brands with hopes of appealing to a new demographic of shoppers. Last year, Dollar General opened two Nashville stores that operate as a “store-within-a-store” to offer nontraditional such as home décor products to customers.

Just in time for the holiday season, big-box retailers are making shelf room for smaller brands in hopes of fostering new partnerships while driving revenue.