How can you create greater connectivity between your senior living campus and the surrounding community and infuse a unique amenity into resident life? Pop-up retail!

Pop-up is a retail term that used to be all about PR for brick and mortar stores, more of a stunt or campaign to grab attention. Today, the term has taken on a whole new meaning and can be used to describe a temporary event that is all about providing a memorable experience or a space that is used temporarily by a particular brand. Think kiosks, trunk shows and marketplaces.

Imagine all of the possibilities for your residents. Some of you may already be experimenting with farmer’s markets and food trucks. These are activities and businesses that people are in love with right now. What a great way for your campus to explore deeper community connections! And what an amazing way to infuse some fun into your dining options. If you have the parking space to spare on certain days and times of the week, then you can easily accommodate these unique activities and amenities.

Available parking space

Farmers Market and Food Trucks

Now, let’s talk about a few more options. Do you have the square footage inside your community to support a rotation of vendors and local businesses? This could be a whole room, a little nook or space for kiosk. Think about the possibilities—Fresh Flower Fridays, and Donut Days. Or how about a rotation of artists and vendors for holiday shopping—jewelry artists, handmade soaps and candles, a chocolatier, etc. The possibilities are endless. And if you really want to embrace the idea, how about a local chef takeover in one of your dining venues?

If you are working on a new construction project or an extensive remodel, then this might be the perfect opportunity to brainstorm ideas and set aside some square footage to make pop-up retail a reality in your community. If you want to test out the idea, then think about an underutilized space you can live without for a day or two. See how it works and what the residents think.

There are a lot of articles about how senior living design is being influenced by hospitality design. Let’s explore more ways for retail design to energize the resident experience. We always talk about how the success of a space relies on the programming and daily use of it. Integrating space for pop-up retail into the design of your community could be a powerful combination and a great way to deepen the connection between your residents and the community at-large.