Pleasants Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes pop up retail stores

Photo Provided Daniel Najar of Comics and Kicks shows the “dead-stock” pairs of Nikes the store carries. Comics and Kicks also offers collectibles, jerseys and sports memorabilia. The store got its start through the Pleasants Area Chamber of Commerce’s Pop Up retail store project.

ST. MARYS — The Pleasants Area Chamber of Commerce is looking for local vendors, artists and crafters for the annual Pop Up retail store concept in the Pleasants County area.

The Chamber is again working with area landlords to offer temporary retail sales space for the holiday shopping season, Jody Murphy, executive director of the Pleasants Chamber, said.

“This has become an annual event and it’s been a successful endeavor to pair potential retailers with vacant space,” Murphy said.

The initiative provides a retail outlet for artists, craftsmen and vendors to sell their products on a part-time seasonal basis. Comics & Kicks, Whippoorwill Artworks and Toadally Tees all got started through a seasonal approach, Murphy said.

“We looking for people in the Mid-Ohio Valley interested in a retail setting – at least on a temporary basis,” Murphy said.

Photo Provided Collectables are on display at Comics and Kicks in downtown St. Marys.

Multiple sites are being developed, depending on the number of retailers seeking space, Murphy said. “Depending on the response and interest, we may end up with more than one Pop Up store in the area.”

Murphy anticipates the Pop Up stores will operate for the holidays through November and December.

The Chamber will deal with the rental agreements on the building. Retailers are responsible for any business licenses, taxes, sales and store hours. The concept is a win-win for vacant site owners and potential start up businesses, Murphy said.

“This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to test the waters for their products and designs. And an opportunity for site owners to allow potential tenants to test their building assets and location,” Murphy said.

“Ideally, I hope these Pop Up stores follow Whippoorwill Artworks and Comics & Kicks’ footsteps and become full-fledged businesses that fill a once-vacant retail space.”

Vendors can contact the Chamber at 304-684-9909 or email the Chamber at The office is open 8-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

“We want to make Pleasants County and the surrounding area a shopping destination,” Murphy said. “The novelty of a pop up retail store, featuring local artists and craftsmen, and local wares will be a great attraction to the area. And to our other area stores. This could attract hundreds of additional shoppers for the holiday season.”