Business & Tech

Pop-up shops all the rage for retailers during holiday season

NEWTON, MA - 11/22/2017: Employee Adrienne Metzgar ( cq) hands out free samples at The See's Candies "holiday gifting center" at The Shops at Chestnut Hill (cq). (David L Ryan/Globe Staff ) SECTION: BUSINESS TOPIC
David L Ryan/Globe Staff
Adrienne Metzgar handed out free samples at See's Candies holiday gifting center at The Shops at Chestnut Hill.

Pop-up retail, once a novelty, is now the norm. Especially during the holiday season, when brick-and-mortar companies are looking for ways to keep consumers from doing all their shopping online, and online retailers want a physical presence. The concept isn’t limited to stores — events are all the rage, too. Take last year’s City Hall pop-up, called “Boston Winter” — the marketplace and ice rink set up on City Hall Plaza drew more than 300,000 visitors in its first year. It’s back for an encore, starting Friday.

Other local holiday pop-ups include a bar that offers naughty or nice shots, galleries that feature locally made art, and storefronts that will change every couple of weeks. Here’s a roundup of the — temporary — options in and around Boston.

1. Boston Winter For the second year, Boston’s City Hall Plaza will transform into a holiday shopping market and skating rink. The market will feature more than 85 vendors, ranging from Lovepop to Grace Oliver. From Nov. 24 to Dec. 31.


2. Miracle on 9th It’s a Christmas-themed pop-up bar. You can have a Snowball Old Fashioned or a Christmopolitan, as well as naughty or nice or shots. Locations: Kimpton Marlowe’s Lobby Bar, at 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd. in East Cambridge; Citizen at 1 Exchange St. in Worcester; and Mystic Station, 139 Pleasant St., Malden. From Nov. 24 to Dec. 24.

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3. Hair for the holidays: This pop-up coming to Newbury Street is an express version of Avanti Salon. Think speed blowouts, for people on the go. Location: 20 Newbury St. Through Jan. 1. 

4MassArt Made Holiday Sale: Join the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for its annual holiday sale, featuring artwork made by students and graduates. Location: MassArt, 621 Huntington Ave. From Dec. 3 to 9. 

5. Love To Give Holiday Shop: This shop, at the Neiman Marcus stores in Natick and Boston, feature what the retailer describes as an exclusive array of festive gifts. Ten percent of the proceeds will support Music Drives Us, a nonprofit that supplies grants to music programs. Locations: Neiman Marcus Boston, at 5 Copley Place; Neiman Marcus Natick, 310 Speen St., Natick. Through Dec. 24. 

6. Gifts that do good: Impact Hub will host a one-night holiday market featuring presents from 20 companies started by local entrepreneurs. The products support social causes like sustainability and empowerment. Location: 50 Milk St. 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7.


7. See’s Candies: The American-made chocolate brand has set up a holiday gift center in The Mall at Chestnut Hill. Location: 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill. Through Dec. 27.

8. The Grommet: E-commerce site The Grommet, known as the “marketplace for new ideas,” opened its first physical store in time for the holidays. It features a computer station that will let people look through online-only offers. Need a gift with some sentimental value? Location: 1245 Worcester St., Natick.

9. The Shop on Newbury: Stop by a revolving pop-up that will features various brand showcases throughout the holiday season. The upcoming lineup includes Aella, an activewear brand, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3; Nineteenth Amendment, a retail company that says it sells design brands at pre-sale prices, from Dec. 4 to 10; Rowing Blazers, a specialty blazer store, from Dec. 11 to 17; and Misha and Puff, a baby-clothing store, from Dec. 18 to Jan. 1. Location: 220 Newbury St.

10. Elburne: This pop-up features locally made and sustainable furniture and decor, from light fixtures to pillows. Products are made of materials such as reclaimed wood, textiles, and metals. Location: 630 Legacy Place, Dedham. Through Jan. 15.

11. Zinneken’s Belgian Waffles: The Cambridge-based eatery has brought its waffles to Northshore Mall. They’re baked to order, topped with pearl sugar from Belgium and various other offerings, such as Nutella and strawberries. Location: 210 Andover St., Peabody. Through Dec. 31.


12. The Vermont Flannel Company: Clothing for people, and dogs, too. Location: Northshore Mall, 210 Andover St., Peabody. Through Jan. 31.

Natasha Mascarenhas can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @nmasc_.