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After WPIX quietly exits arena retail space, Barclays Center operators offering pop-ups at "Featured on Flatbush"

The Barclays Center, it seems, is trying to make lemonade out of lemons. After WPIX-TV vacated (with no announcement) the Flatbush Avenue retail space that was part of a "multi-year strategic partnership" announced in December 2014, now arena operators are offering pop-up space ("Featured on Flatbush") to local merchants as well as vendors associated with arena events.

Tyrel Kirkham, VP of global merchandising for BSE Global, which operates the arena, told The Bridge that the space was used in April for the UFC championship: "Based on the success of that event, we decided to really build up a platform. That’s where we came up with the idea to extend it well beyond just our programming, to open it up to our sponsors in addition to, and most importantly, the community."

He suggested it was a way for small businesses to get their start--of course, that depends on the terms. Applications are available here.

This space is adjacent to the team store. There was no mention of the fate of other retail space, such as the space further down Flatbush once used to market the 550 Vanderbilt condos, or the retail space on Atlantic Avenue, with far less foot traffic, that after the arena opened in 2012 struggled to find customers.

Though such short-term retail can help both parties, it often illustrates the stresses facing landlords. As the New York Times reported in May 2017 about the pop-up trend:
For retailers, the stores can offer lower rents and far less commitment. For the landlords, the reason is just as clear: A short-term tenant is better than no tenant at all.

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