One week the store may be filled with WWE wrestling merchandise and the next it might be the go-to shop for handcrafted jewelry by local artists. Within the coming weeks, Barclays Center will will be launching Featured on Flatbush, a new initiative in the retail space next to the Brooklyn Nets’ team store. The space, which was previously occupied by the television station Pix11, will be home to a series of rotating pop-up shops.
The space will be used as both a store associated with arena events and as a shop for local entrepreneurs to showcase their products. Although the pop-up shop’s first tenant has not been announced yet, The Bridge spoke with Tyrel Kirkham, vice president of global merchandising for BSE Global, which runs Barclays Center and the Nets, to get a preview.
Kirkham said he suggested the pop-up idea when he and his colleagues were discussing what to do with the space. “And we actually tested it with an event back in April, with 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,” said Kirkham.
To secure a spot in the pop-up space, each prospect will have to fill out an application. “We want there to be a very diverse mix of events and want to utilize the space to the best of our ability,” said Kirkham. “We’re asking people on the form to tell us why they deserve to be featured on Flatbush. We’re hopeful that we’ll get a lot of expression and colors and why they deserve the love and the opportunity to be presented in such great real estate.”
Kirkham thinks the new space will be a great way for small businesses to jump start their sales and public awareness. “I think it’s a phenomenal launching pad for that person that’s been grinding it out on Etsy or a local, e-commerce-only business. We can provide brick-and-mortar space for the community and give them an opportunity to be in one of the largest transit hubs in the city without the risk of going out and securing all of the insurance and all of the other hassles with opening up a long-term lease on space. We’re providing temporary testing points for someone to see if their business in a brick-and-mortar atmosphere is sustainable,” said Kirkham.
The company aims to have the first pop-up store open in August. Prospective merchants can apply here.–By Arden Phillips