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A Call for Pop-Up Mom-and-Pops

Thu, 03/14/2024 - 18:17
More than 40 percent of stores in the core of the East Hampton Village business district lock their doors,” the Anchor Society of East Hampton said in a release announcing its Winter Shops program.
Carissa Katz

The Anchor Society of East Hampton, a nonprofit community group working to revitalize the village business district and return a warmer sense of community to Main Street and Newtown Lane, has issued a call for applications to its Winter Shops program, which will place pop-up shops in otherwise empty storefronts during the off-season.

According to a press release, businesses can apply on the Anchor Society website,, until the end of March, by clicking on the “Winter Shops” tab. Applicants should intend to “use the space for retail, food sales, or services (not as an office or showroom)” and be “willing to pledge to be open at least four days a week.” Locally owned businesses will be prioritized, but if a “national or international brand, or digital-native brand” can provide “a missing ingredient in our retail mix,” they will be considered, too.

“More than 40 percent of stores in the core of the East Hampton Village business district lock their doors,” the society states in its call for applications. “This isn’t good for anyone. It’s not good for those stalwart businesses that stay open year round, despite the fall-off in foot traffic; or for residents who crave not just more places to actually shop but an atmosphere of liveliness and community; or for landlords, who often have to contend with vacancies during the chilly months; or for visitors who arrive only to be faced with a slew of ‘see you in spring’ signs.”

Candidates will be matched with appropriate spaces occupied by year-round tenants who close up shop in winter, with care taken not to create competition with any existing businesses. A slate of approved shops will be announced in June, and the inaugural season of Winter Shops will run approximately from October through May 2025.

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