Repurposing used shipping containers and creating retail pop-up container shops is a trend becoming more and more popular to businesses around the world.

A pop-up retail store offers the luxury of a temporary space, allowing the retailer to take advantage of a trend or to make the most of a seasonal product or service. It can exist in one location for numerous weeks or months and then can move on to a different area, attracting a new group of potential customers.

Shipping container office buildings are as reliable as brick and mortar buildings; they are versatile and durable, but there is one key difference- they are portable. They give you the opportunity to pick up and move whenever you want. Shipping containers can go anywhere because they are so effortlessly transported by truck, train or ship.

When you purchase a used storage container, you’re looking at years of future use. Shipping containers were made to handle even the most brutal conditions.

Our Detroit branch was recently approached by an independent baseball league in suburban Detroit. A long-standing rental customer, the league has used shipping containers for extra storage, as well as for changing areas for their cheerleaders. But now our customers needing a space solution for selling merchandise just outside their stadium.

The customer had been using an outdated mobile trailer to sell all their merchandise. With limited space, the trailer was not the ideal option. Customers could only buy products through a small window and weren’t able to walk through the trailer to shop the merchandise.

The solution to their problem was right in front of them and was “storing” a lot of their merchandise at the same time.

Converting a used shipping container into a portable retail store made all the sense in the world. Not only would it give them the space for their products and staff, but customers could enter and shop the items. The container shop sits at ground level so patrons with small children and people using wheelchairs could easily enter the shop. The shipping container retail store could be moved quickly if needed and could be closed up tight during the offseason.

Our Detroit team worked closely with the customer to meet all their requirements and produce a pop-up container space that truly met their needs.

Container Merchandise Store Pop Up Shop  Container Merchandise Store Pop Up Shop

Below are some of the custom container shop modifications done to the shipping container.

  • The exterior was painted in gloss black.
  • The interior sidewalls and ceiling were left with the corrugations exposed and were painted white.
  • The original floor was coated with garage floor epoxy.
  • A 30” x 27” vertical slider window with an insect screen single pane was installed to be able to provide walk-up services for customers
  • Four 48” wide side swing-out cargo doors were installed. (They open and sit flush against the outside container walls and can be held in place with bungies; the rear cargo doors will remain usable.)
  • The ceiling has four 48” tube surface mount LED strip lights controlled by two toggle light switches and two roof mount exhaust fans for ventilation.
    • The electricity runs on 120/240-volt single phase, 3 wire, 60 Hz with a 125-amp electrical service panel with main breaker and five 120-volt 15-amy duplex receptacles.


Check out this photo video of our work.


All these modifications took only a month to complete, and the pop-up container was delivered and in place two weeks earlier than originally requested. The container was set on casters and rolled it into place.


Pac-Van was able to provide our customer with a versatile, portable, and durable container shop solution.