Partner With a Pop-Up Restaurant

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Pool and spa retailers all over the country are working to re-open their businesses in accordance with proper social distance mandates. As a result, they are seeing less traffic in-store and more outside — by means of curbside pickup, drive-through water testing stations and more.

“People don’t feel as safe inside a retail location as they did prior to the global pandemic,” says Maggie Sturino-Wood, general manager at Hansen’s Pool & Spa in Kenosha, Wis. “As a result, we have not only had to brainstorm how to make customers feel more comfortable inside our showroom, but we have also thought of ways to amp-up our outside space and services.”

A pop-up — a restaurant or food truck that operates temporarily in different locations — can provide a unique, fun and responsible way to increase traffic to a retail store.

That’s how Hansen’s used Kona Ice, a mobile, tropical ice shave truck with 37 different flavors, this summer. Kona Ice set up in Hansen’s parking lot for an afternoon, boosting sales and offering the retailer a chance to network with its community and gain some new leads. Customers enjoyed delicious cool treats and took turns entering the showroom and checking out Hansen’s outdoor products.

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“People were excited to get away from the house and do something outside,” says Sturino-Wood. “We saw a lot of smiles. And from a business standpoint, it was an easy opportunity for further promotion.”

Sturino-Wood says that local businesses should support each other, especially in today’s market, and popups are an easy way to do so. “We simply gave Kona Ice a phone call, and they were thrilled to use our space, while we were excited to have the increased traffic. It was a win-win for both businesses,” she says.

Hansen’s also gave an ice voucher to its employees as a thank you. “It was just a nice little token of appreciation.”

The company encourages other pool and spa retailers to follow in its footsteps if similar pop-ups are available in their area. “Most communities have ice cream trucks or food trucks that are looking for a space,” says Sturino-Wood. “It’s an easy event — the pop-up does most of the work — that’s definitely worth doing.”

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