NEW YORK – Now you see it. Now you don't.
JCPenney recently opened a temporary Chris Madden (search) showroom in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Last fall, Target launched its new collection of Isaac Mizrahi (search) fashions at a short-term store, also in Rockefeller Center. And Delta Airlines (search) has operated temporary stores in New York City and Boston to familiarize travelers with its new low-fare airline called "Song."
Short-term stores are popping up all over the place, and experts say the motive is long-term profits for permanent locations.
"The goal of a small pop-up store is not for direct revenue generation, but for awareness of a particular product or merchandise line that they're offering to the public," said Karl Bjornson, a retail specialist at Kurt Salmon Associates (search).
JCPenney used its pop-up to promote its new home furnishings line by Madden, an up-and-coming home decorating guru and author of "Haven: Finding the Keys to Your Personal Decorating Style."
"They came to me at the exact same time that I was looking to partner up with a major retailer," Madden told Fox News. "I realized that if I wanted to spread my message, my mission, of home as haven, that I really need to go with the best and for me JCPenney was the best."
Bjornson said pop-up stores wouldn't be financially possible for retailers without modern technology. Many of them feature kiosks where orders can be placed online, decreasing the need for expensive labor.
"If you have multi-channel operations — catalogue, Internet and storefronts — the stores are a great way to augment that, if you're fulfilling out of already existing distribution centers," he said.
Bjornson also thinks we'll be seeing more blink-and-you'll-miss-'em stores in the near future.
"A pop-up is something that's here today but potentially gone tomorrow — in that sense it creates an even greater demand," he said, likening the stores to catch-'em-while-you-can movies. "And from the consumer's perspective, they offer greater choice. The store will come back when and if demand warrants it."
Fox News' Brenda Buttner, Amy C. Sims and Jennifer D'Angelo contributed to this report.