How Chelsea Market Merchants Leverage Temporary Retail Spaces For Maximum Exposure

Thomas Ligor

Chelsea Market is an iconic destination in the heart of New York, loved by both locals and visitors.

It is a one-stop shop for both foodies and shoppers; as it is a food hall and a shopping mall in one, with commercial spaces such as offices and a television production facility. It is unique on its own, but what truly sets it apart is its initiative to offer startups free retail spaces and allow them to shine.

There is a growing trend among food halls – they are offering rent-free spaces to start-ups. These start-ups get to open a pop-up shop in a prime location, giving them a huge advantage in the business. In return, the food hall gains a source of fresh ideas and flavors.

Thomas Ligor explores below the growing popularity of pop-up shops and how they are integrated into the marketing strategies of Chelsea Market businesses.

Pop-Up Popularity: Advantages of Pop-Up Shops

Generates Buzz

One of the biggest advantages of pop-up shops is that they help brands and startups generate buzz – the sudden existence of a new shop taps into the interest of consumers. Established brands such as Adidas, Levi’s, and Gap have used this marketing tool to draw attention to a new product or promotion.

In the case of Chelsea Market, the food hall will also benefit from the buzz generated by the pop-ups that open in their retail spaces.

Allows for Testing and Experimentation

The temporary and low-cost nature of pop-up shops gives brands the opportunity to test new products and promotions in the market to gauge the demands of consumers.

This is especially true for the start-ups that have a pop-up shop in Chelsea Market – they can leverage the large influx of customers to identify which items on their menu have the potential to make it big on the market.

In return, the food hall gets to offer their customer base with a wide variety of food options, fostering repeat business. According to the Michael Phillips, President of Alphabet Inc. (the owner of Chelsea Market), “These partnerships give us access to regional specialty food in a really interesting way.”

Thomas Ligor

Encourages Spontaneous Sales

Pop-up shops are temporary, which consumers view as “limited edition”. Because these shops will be there for only a limited time, it creates a sense of urgency among shoppers to visit the shop and buy their products now.

Builds Brand Awareness

Having a pop-up shop helps a start-up build awareness and extend its brand.

Online businesses can now interact and build relationships with their customers face-to-face, providing them with the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their products’ features and functions that are otherwise difficult to do online.

For the pop-ups in Chelsea Market, they can associate their name with the iconic food hall, which can go a long way in their marketing strategies.

Start-ups who are chosen to create a pop-up shop in Chelsea Market are incredibly lucky; not only do they get maximum exposure and reach a wider audience straight away, but they also get to showcase their skill and products in a historical place, which will be tied to their name forever.

Adapting Traditional Marketing Tactics to the Modern Shopping Experience

Thomas Ligor New York

If a business wants to stay ahead of the competition, it must stay updated about the ever-changing consumer behavior.

Over the last few years, consumers’ behavior and shopping habits have changed drastically, mainly due to changing lifestyles, social media influence, and technology. The rise in online shopping is also a major contributor to this change.

According to Global Management Consulting Firm McKinsey & Company, consumers are showing significant changes in their priorities and preferences, with over 75 percent exploring new shopping habits and behaviors.

Indeed, retail marketing techniques have also evolved to cater to the shift in consumer behavior and preferences. Businesses must always be ready to keep up with the latest trends to stay relevant.

Thomas Ligor of New York explores below the ever-changing consumer shopping habits and how businesses can adapt to these changes.

Trends and Technology: Changes in Consumer Behavior

Digital Transformation

When the retail industry and technology shift, so does the behavior of consumers.

Tech Informed found that a whopping 73% of consumers prefer shopping online because of the user-friendly nature and convenience it offers. Customers also have high expectations when it comes to online shopping, so companies need to ensure that shopping in their platform brings about a smooth and seamless experience.


Consumers also expect to get personalized services that cater to their specific needs and preferences. To address this, businesses should start capitalizing on tailored campaigns instead of marketing strategies designed for the masses.

Health and Wellness

As more people shift to a healthier lifestyle, shoppers have also started seeking products and services that support their health and well-being. Products that promote relaxation and wellness are all the rage, so retailers must answer to this demand.

Customers have also started championing the environment, and they expect brands to follow suit in promoting sustainability and reducing waste. To keep up with this trend, retailers must find ways to prioritize eco-friendly practices and sustainable solutions.

Consumer Habits and Behavior: Strategies to Adapt

Thomas Ligor New York

Employ Omnichannel Retailing

To maintain a competitive edge in the industry, companies should consider omnichannel retailing which provides consumers the convenience of shopping their brand across different platforms, including in-store, mobile, and web.

To make their customers’ shopping experience even more convenient, payment methods should be diversified; adding online payments, mobile wallets, and other quick and easy methods.

Enhance Online Presence

If a company doesn’t have a strong digital presence, they’re going to get left behind.

With most consumers spending the majority of their time online, it makes sense that brands should constantly update their social media profiles and invest in professional websites optimized for just about any device.

A strong online presence that offers value to consumers paired with smooth online shopping experience can catapult a brand to success.

Collaborate with Influencers

We are in an era of influencers. These online personalities are doing their job right – influencing the masses. Partnering with influencers opens a whole lot of opportunities for brands like business exposure, enhanced customer reach, improved engagement, and better sales.

The bottom line – customer behavior and habits change all the time. It is the business’s responsibility to adjust and adapt to these changing needs. Happy customers, booming business – it’s a win-win for everyone.

Marketing a Commercial Property or Business Space

Thomas Ligor of New York

Commercial real estate may sound like a promising investment, but it can lead to devastating bankruptcy when incompetent marketing leaves owners with an abundance of office suites and no tenants to fill them. Owners who lack proper marketing skills will almost always lose out to the competition.

Marketing business space within a commercial property relies on a multi-pronged approach. Owners must first devise a plan of action, based around their property’s key selling points and the target markets that would have the most to gain from renting such a space. Once the finer details are hammered out, it’s time to begin an ad campaign involving both digital and print media.

Thomas Ligor of New York says that this may seem like an extensive to-do list, but most owners will find that effective execution of one step almost always makes the next step easier. It all begins with the initial planning phase.

Creating a Marketing Plan for a Commercial Property

It would go beyond foolhardy for any business owner to launch an ad campaign without first identifying the primary selling points of their product or service. This applies to commercial space as much as it applies to any other real estate. Owners must know why a tenant would choose them over the competition. A few key points to consider include:

  • Location: Is the business located in a desirable part of the city? Are there eateries within walking distance where workers can take their lunch? What about bars or other attractions where colleagues can unwind after work?
  • Size and layout: What is the square footage of the available space? Are the office suites generally uniform, or are there different options available to businesses of varying sizes?
  • Amenities: Does the business offer any special accommodations such as an in-house gym or a sizable parking garage? How many conference rooms are there? Are there bathrooms on every floor?
  • Price: How does rent compare with other commercial properties in the area? If located in an uptown or downtown office park, this concern could prove especially vital.

After considering the building’s key features and determining which talking points to highlight (and which to avoid), the next order of business is to identify a target market. This will vary in accordance with the type of building. For instance, an office building doesn’t need to market nearby foot traffic, whereas a retail space won’t need to focus as strongly on spatial versatility.

The key features identified above will also play a direct role in determining the best market for the space. Marketing a commercial business space to large advertisers or legal firms might not prove effective if they’d have to fight over a limited number of bookable conference rooms. By contrast, those same businesses might love a space with grand window views where they can dazzle their clients.

Thomas Ligor of New York

Integrating Digital and Traditional Marketing Methods

Just about no real estate venture can meet success in today’s world without heavy reliance on digital marketing. Its use has become mandatory for renters seeking to find any tenants at all, so commercial property owners will want to utilize all of the following resources:

  • Online real estate listings: Popular listing sites like LoopNet and CoStar are a first stop for many prospective tenants seeking to rent out business space. When creating a listing, it’s important to use SEO keywords so that the ad will be easier to find.
  • Social media content: Many realtors have found success on social media. If using Instagram for photos, a good tip is to hire a professional photographer. An even better idea is to create YouTube videos. While most people expect pictures to be doctored or strategically composed, videos can provide an honest 360° view of the available space.
  • Email blasts: Mass emails make it easier to reach several prospects at once, and it’s easy to keep an ongoing list of contact info.

These resources are a good start, but it’s important to remember the rule of seven. Most prospects have to see a brand’s marketing at least seven times before they’ll bite the bullet and investigate. This means that digital marketing isn’t enough. It’s key to integrate traditional marketing as well.

Something as simple as putting a sign out front can do the trick, but flyers are both cost-friendly and effective. They can be distributed anywhere and will summarize the same information as an online listing while putting it directly in the prospect’s hand so they can’t simply click away.


The commercial real estate market might be competitive, but all it takes to navigate is a bit of planning and a multi-faceted ad campaign. With the right strategy and a nice array of resources, commercial business owners with even a hint of marketing savvy can beat out the competition and fill those vacancies in no time.

The 6 P’S of Marketing

Thomas Ligor New York

The key to a successful marketing campaign is getting the right message to the right people at the moment they need to hear it most. While there are a lot of innovative strategies out there, most boil down to the same few core marketing principles that are the foundation of an effective growth strategy.

Thomas Ligor of New York reviews below one of the tried-and-true marketing methods, known as the 6 P’s of Marketing. Following this guideline will help retailers get products in front of consumers, drive demand, and increase sales.

The Six Elements

These six elements – first identified by Harvard researchers as four P’s in the 1950s before expanding to six – combine to make what is known as the “marketing mix.” Experts note that it can take up to six months of employing these combined strategies before they yield results, but over time, they have been proven to drive retail sales.


Everything comes down to this first P – after all, product is exactly what you are selling! Identify the market’s biggest pain point or need, and make sure your product is filling that gap. Pay attention to other products on the market and discover how you can set yours apart from the competition to offer something totally unique.


Price doesn’t just refer to how much people pay for a product. A retailer’s pricing strategy should take into consideration the actual cost of making the product, so that they can price in such a way as to make a profit. Retailers should also review their competitors’ prices (and how they have changed over time) and adjust their numbers to make them as attractive and reasonable as possible.


The place that a product is sold has a huge impact on the product’s success. In retail, this can involve physical placement in stores and making sure the product is in the appropriate department and on the best shelf to attract attention. Since so many retailers have gone digital, it also means selecting the right online vendor or app to sell the product, and even the design and appeal of the web page.


Retailers are nothing without their customers and employees! Who your audience is should be considered when developing a marketing plan – analyze how to reach them and appeal to them. A business should also strive to have happy employees with a strong customer service ethic, which will make the entire store experience more welcoming and attractive to potential consumers.

Thomas Ligor New York


Presentation – also sometimes called Packaging – is all about how your product looks and feels. From the color to the style to the feel of the box, each of these can impact a customer’s design to make a purchase. The product branding should also be instantly “recognizable” as yours.


Promotion is the main “P” most people think of when they think marketing! This is the communication strategy retailers use to reach their customers and let them know about the product. Strategies for promotion include emails, public relations, paid advertising, content marketing, social media, discounts, contests and more.

Final Thoughts

By employing the 6 P’s of Marketing – product, price, place, people, presentation, and promotion – retailers can draw consumers to their products and drive overall sales.

The Rise of Omnichannel Marketing

Thomas Ligor of New York

As consumers become more sophisticated, brands have learned that connecting with their customers means meeting them where they are.

Enter ‘Omnichannel Marketing,’ an approach that focuses on the customer’s “journey.”

This marketing strategy acknowledges that brand engagement can begin in an online channel, continue in a different digital frequency, but finish their conversion at a traditional offline network–or any combination of the possible ways a customer can engage with them.

Thomas Ligor of New York discusses what experts have to say about omnichannel marketing and how it’s reshaping the consumer landscape.

An Explanation of Seamless Commerce

In a word, it means “seamless.”

Omnichannel Marketing acknowledges that customers are now sophisticated, and can choose any of the available touchpoints that the brand has provided, making them all work together as a cohesive unit.

Gone are the days that customers only use one or two touchpoints during their entire customer experience. According to Forbes, touchpoints have now tripled, and providing a seamless experience as the customer moves across them can mean an 18.96% engagement rate for marketing campaigns.

Imagine a customer engaging with Starbucks. They see an ad while working on their desktop, decide their mid-afternoon infusion of caffeine is due, so they reload their Starbucks card just before getting up from their desk. While walking to the store, they open the app, order their coffee in advance, and skip the line to pick it up.

That is seamless commerce in a nutshell.

Despite the multiple channels used, as far as the customer was concerned, it was just one long conversation with Starbucks.

Thomas Ligor of New York

Personalization and Data-Driven Insights

In a successful omnichannel marketing strategy, the customer is in one continuous conversation with the brand.

There are no awkward silences or need to repeat themselves as they transition from one channel to the next. The channel the customer uses is no longer important, the brand strives to meet them wherever they are, while also remembering where they’ve been.

McKinsey & Company states that one-third of Americans have integrated omnichannel features into their buying habits since the COVID-19 pandemic, and that these habits are likely to persist.

For brands, this means that proper analysis of their data can show which touchpoints specific customers choose to use, and tailor their message to reflect that insight.

On a macro level, knowing which touchpoints are contributing the most to a sale, the brand can adjust their marketing spend accordingly.

Omnichannel Success Hinges on Flexibility and Adaptability

There’s no longer a one-size-fits all approach to marketing. Taking customer data and updating strategies real-time to reflect this data is vital to ensure a successful campaign.

The internet has made the world seem smaller than ever.

As new channels emerge and trends affect markets half-way across the world, staying ahead of competitors means brands should always be on their toes.

Knowing what message each demographic resonates with, which touchpoints they use, what aspects of the experience they value most, and making adjustments along the way is what’s needed to deliver in an omnichannel world.

The Art of Visual Merchandising: Exploring Chelsea Market’s Captivating Retail Displays

Thomas Ligor New York

In the age of online shopping and digital stores, captivating shoppers’ attention is a growing challenge for brick-and-mortar stores. One technique that has long proven its effectiveness is visual merchandising, a marketing practice that strategically pairs the display of products and services against floor layouts, color, lighting, and other elements to attract customers’ attention.

With over 55 stores, Chelsea Market, a bustling marketplace in New York City’s Meatpacking District, remains a strong player in the retail world by capitalizing on visual merchandising. Below, Thomas Ligor of New York explores the world of visual merchandising in Chelsea Market, the techniques stores use, and the success they find.

Framing the Architecture of Stores for Success

Once the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory, Chelsea Market boasts a historic value to visitors and locals. The market is open to the public on the ground floor, allowing visitors and shoppers to roam through a long strip of stores selling food, clothing, furniture, and more.

The simple architecture of the warehouse provides a pivotal role in making the market inviting and exciting for visitors. Combined with the magic of visual merchandising, stores can add their touch to their space while accentuating the architecture of the historic building. A physical store’s architecture utilizes visual elements like floor layout to the positioning of items on windows and shelf displays to create a unique experience for visitors.

Using Lighting to Set the Shopping Atmosphere

Lighting can also play an important role in creating the right ambiance for shoppers. Warm lighting can make a store feel friendlier and smaller, while cool lighting can make a store feel spacious. Additionally, shoppers visiting a store with bright lights might feel more energized to shop quickly while shoppers visiting a store with dim lights may take their time in casually looking through items.

For example, Chelsea Market Baskets plays with warm, dim lighting and invites visitors to a cozy experience. With wicker baskets spilling out as their storefront, the store matches the grandness of their historic home. Visitors are immediately drawn to the treasure trove of the store and feel invited to browse through all the little and big items the store has to offer.

Thomas Ligor New York

Showcasing Products and Services in Center Stage

With over 9 million visitors per year, stores at Chelsea Market have just over a few seconds to spark interest in passersby, making visual merchandising instrumental. Fashion stores like Anthropologie utilize the traditional modeling of mannequins to display their latest wardrobe items for customers to see at first glance.

Others play with an open-door concept. For example, ALF Bakery brings a historical touch to its storefront by showing visitors the process of breadmaking. Visitors are immediately drawn to the hustle and bustle of the bakers, who market their fresh, warm-baked products front and center.


In-store shopping provides an experience still unmatched by digital shopping, and Chelsea Market is a marketplace that proves it.

From dressing up mannequins to displaying baked goods on the windows, the stores of Chelsea Market wield visual merchandising to continue keeping both locals and tourists entertained and intrigued.