Reviving Empty Retail Space: The Power of Temporary Use and Pop-Up Events

Empty retail spaces can be found all across the world, serving as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by the retail industry.

However, there is a silver lining in this retail landscape – the potential for temporary use and pop-up events to breathe new life into these empty spaces.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of utilising empty retail spaces for temporary purposes and the transformative impact of pop-up events. And discuss how we at Globetrotters Golf took an empty unit in the County Mall in Crawley and turned it into a mini golf venue over November and December 2022. 

Filling the Void

Empty retail spaces can be an eyesore and a blight on the urban environment. These vacancies not only detract from the aesthetic appeal of a neighbourhood but can also have a negative impact on property values. By utilising these spaces temporarily, we can turn these liabilities into assets. 

Temporary use can include a wide range of activities, such as art exhibitions, community workshops, or mini golf pop ups. 

Supporting Local Entrepreneurs

Pop-up events have become a powerful tool for local entrepreneurs and small businesses to test their concepts, engage with their target audience, and grow their brand presence. Temporary use of empty retail spaces enables these budding businesses to showcase their products or services without the long-term commitment and financial burden of a full-time lease.

Community Engagement

One of the most significant benefits of using empty retail spaces temporarily is their ability to bring communities together. Pop-up events create opportunities for people to connect and bond over shared interests, which can help revitalise the local economy.

Attracting Investment

A neighbourhood with well-utilised empty retail spaces is more attractive to investors and developers. When the community demonstrates its ability to activate and maintain these spaces, it sends a positive signal to potential investors, encouraging them to support the regeneration of the area.

Empty retail spaces need not be seen as a blight on the urban landscape. By embracing temporary use and pop-up events, we can transform these vacant properties into dynamic hubs of creativity, entrepreneurship, and community engagement.

The importance of these endeavors extends beyond aesthetics and convenience; they play a pivotal role in revitalising neighbourhoods and creating opportunities for local businesses, artists, and communities to thrive.

So, the next time you pass by an empty retail space, imagine the possibilities it holds and the positive change it can bring to your community when temporarily reimagined.

Globetrotters Golf at The County Mall - Crawley

Over November and December 2022, we rented a vacant unit at The County Mall in Crawley, and transformed an empty space into a mini golf destination with a cafe / bar. 

The unit was over 5000 sq ft, and the previous tenants were a sofa shop.  The County Mall had previously never had any units providing leisure or entertainment, neither had they had any external businesses renting space for temporary use, meaning our pop up was a first of many.

We utilised the space, and made use of what was left from the previous tenants, we also created our cafe seating area from tables and chairs that were left in another vacant unit.

We designed and painted huge murals that covered the vast expanse of white walls, and adorned the ceiling with reams of flags from countries around the world. 

One of the key features of the event, that made it the most eye catching was the lighting installations. A stark juxtaposition from the harsh lighting of retail settings, our lighting was fun and impressive, featuring coloured up-lighters, a neon section and a disco ball! 

The mini golf was the star of the show, and fit the space brilliantly! Alongside the golf we had additional games that could be played such as table tennis and table football.

Check out the transformation pictures below!



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