Is a ‘Shop-in-Shop’ Concept Right for Your Brand?

Posted July 30, 2021

Woman standing in front of clothes rack in store.

A store within a store isn’t exactly a new concept. In fact, this retail model began early on in grocery stores, when pharmacy chains began appearing in their brick-and-mortar locations. It then slowly made its way into shopping centers, as well as big-box brands like Target, Sears, and Macy’s. 

As with any retail concept, the more effective it is, the longer it stays in existence. However, you must always be ready to adjust any strategy, so it evolves with your customers’ changing needs. 

So, What Exactly Is a Store Within a Store?

It sounds simple, and I’m willing to guess you’ve seen more of these store concepts than you realize. Maybe you’ve walked into a JCPenny’s and spotted a Sephora outlet in the middle of the space, selling their products. Or perhaps, you’ve walked into a Barnes & Nobles and ordered a tall, non-fat latte at Starbucks before heading into the True Crime section of the book store. 

This benefited you, the consumer, because what goes better with a good book than a hot cup of coffee or tea? The same applies to purchasing your cosmetics while you’re shopping for clothing. Certain items complement each other well and make the shopper’s journey that much more convenient, enjoyable, and catered to their needs. 

How Can This Retail Concept Benefit Your Brand

There are several advantages to operating a store within a store, such as:

  • Less Overhead – Unlike operating an entire space, you manage a certain square footage, which means you’ll pay less on utilities, maintenance, and insurance costs.
  • Better Exposure – When you run a store within a store, you get to benefit from the other retailer’s customer base—meaning you already have active shoppers looking to buy products in your location. So, rather than trying to draw in new people, you’ll already have direct access to a diverse target audience.
    • “If the host retailer generates a lot of foot traffic throughout the day, brands within their store wind up selling more products than solely operating out of a standalone store,” (Erply).
  • Individuality & Independence – Though you don’t own the independent store you’re selling out of, you do manage the space you operate in. This includes choosing inventory, setting prices, and displaying products and promotions.

Of course, it should be stated that when you enter into this type of business model, you will need to sign an agreement with the retailer, which may limit certain things you can do to advertise your company—especially if it doesn’t align with their brand standards. But, don’t forget, the retailer is benefiting from your store within their store, too. So, they’re always looking to attract the right tenants:

“Done well, store-within-a-store is the proverbial win-win situation. The host retailer reduces payroll and unproductive inventory while extracting value from under-monetized floor space,” (CSA). 

Using This Store Concept in Real Life

The earlier examples I used lean more toward major retailers, but you don’t have to open a store-within-store in a large chain to be successful. 

At Rosedale Center, for example, we do offer many shop-in-shop locations throughout our mall: some located in big-name brands while others are located in smaller businesses.

  • Rose & Loon, for instance, offers a large selection of hand-made goods created by local artisans. Their mission is to promote and sell products made by vendors to help them grow a strong customer base, as they work to build their business up. This is a great example of how the store-within-a store concept has and continues to evolve to meet customers’ needs and provide a unique experience for in-store shoppers.
  • Kiosks are another example of this retail evolution. In this scenario, much like a store within a store, you’re a store within a giant shopping center. This means customers don’t even need to enter into a store to see your products or services. You’re already front and center to all the oncoming foot traffic. A kiosk may also provide an opportunity to test your products first before investing in a store-within-a-store location. 

Is a Store-Within-a-Store Right for Me?

The first thing you’ll want to consider is where you want your store-within-store located. To help you make the right choice, consider what your product is and whether it complements another brand’s offering. 

Because you’re benefiting from having more foot traffic from the retail store, it’s even more important to ensure your product aligns with the retailer’s same target audience. Otherwise, you’ll have more foot traffic and exposure, but only to customers who aren’t interested in buying products.

At Rosedale Center, our leasing office can help you decide on the best retail concept and location for your brand, whether it’s a store within a store, an independent space, or a mall kiosk.

To get started, we first need to learn a little bit more about you and your business. We invite you to contact us today by either calling or emailing our office. We’ll get to learn more about you, your needs, and budget. From there, we’ll help you find a flexible lease that benefits your company.

Ready for the best part? 

With more than 14 million visitors a year (and growing!), plus being situated between the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, no matter where you set up shop in Rosedale, you’ll always find success and plenty of active shoppers headed in your direction.

Holly Rome,

Executive Vice President of Leasing



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