Portable Retail Windows: Take Your Product Displays to the People


Some of the most valuable marketing real estate in a retail outlet is found along the edge of the store: its display windows. In this relatively small space, store owners and marketers can express creativity and innovation while showcasing new and exciting products. There’s nothing like an imaginatively crafted window to entice passersby into a store and help sell products. In an age of increasing competition from online shopping, the retail window remains one of the most immediately impactful forms of in-store marketing.

Now, retailers have the opportunity to take the power of those window displays anywhere: a park, the beach, a bike path, in the middle of a music festival, along a boardwalk, anywhere. That’s because Event Architecture’s Express Portables B and BX deliver the perfect solution for safe and secure portable retail window displays.

Today, as COVID-19 keeps malls and stores closed and shoppers are social distancing from previously high-density shopping areas, a portable retail window provides brands with a unique opportunity. Because they can be set up anywhere – park, bike path, etc. – brands can take their marketing displays to the locations where people are enjoying their rare moments out. 

Of course, this pandemic will end. Once it does, and public gatherings resume, our portable retail window displays help brands turn events and festivals into attention-grabbing exhibitions of their products.


“At big events, where a lot of people are going to be around, retailers often need an eye-catching method to show off their products,” said Tim Bookout, the Director of Sales for Event Architecture. “However, you have the issue of people messing with the display, taking or damaging products, or climbing on the products and creating an unsafe area. With Event Architecture’s Express Portables B and BX, you can create a beautiful display window and then lock it up. Your assets are protected inside, and you don’t have to worry about anything happening to them. The front and back wall is totally clear Plexiglas, so everybody walking by can view the display.” 

The ability to set up a display window anywhere is a powerful selling technique that can set a brand apart from the competition.

“A clothing brand came to us with the idea of having several portable retail window displays spread across the grounds of the Coachella Music Festival. They would have a theme running throughout that kept reinforcing the branding message throughout the grounds,” said Bookout. “Another example is a bicycle company that used a vignette with a mannequin sitting on a mountain bike in an action pose. The display included a bike trail and mountain scenery.”

Brands can incorporate experiential techniques into their portable retail window displays to facilitate further engagement and even enable purchases.

For example, a window display at the Lexington Avenue NYC Bloomingdale’s enabled passersby to virtually try on sunglasses. An interactive screen would map a user’s face, then perfectly position a pair of glasses over their eyes. The user could even turn their head to see how the glasses looked from different angles. A similar type of display could be included in one of our portable window displays.

It could even be possible to purchase an item that’s on display, similar to British retailer John Lewis’s holiday window display. It featured the top 30 favorite Christmas items available at the store. A QR code was included beside each product. Folks browsing the display only had to scan the code to purchase an item. Those shoppers needed to return to the store to pick up their items; however, for festival attendees, the purchases could be available at an Amazon Locker (or comparable location) within a few hours.

The Express Portable B and Express Portable BX can be set up in about 10 minutes by three people. Both units have a unique flat-pack, fold-up frame, which means it folds up from a completely flat structure. The frame is comprised of sturdy aluminum with an integrated galvanized steel floor system. The floor easily clips into the frame with no nuts and bolts required. 

The frame is then enclosed with what’s known as an AirCell. The AirCell is a double layer of coated fabric with a securely bonded trim that fits tightly in channels that run along the aluminum frame. Once secure, the AirCell is inflated with a motorized pump. The pressurized AirCell creates tension that gives the Express Portables B and BX added rigidity and strength, in addition to its unique, attention-grabbing appearance.


Most deployments can be set up in a variety of different environments, including uneven surfaces like sand. The front and back walls are comprised of high-impact Trespa panels or Plexiglas. The front panel contains a sliding door that can be securely locked. The units can also be rigged with electricity and outfitted with climate control systems.

“Historically, the way that people have created displays at festivals and public activations, they have not been climate controlled or protected from the elements. Our portable retail window displays are entirely enclosed, so the products and everything inside is completely sheltered. For example, at Coachella, the wind can stir up the desert dust. Reason: we were in the wind farm several miles outside Coachella where it does get very windy, but where the event takes place it is much less windy. When that happens, product displays can get coated in mud and dirt. Our portable retail window displays are totally protected from the elements. No dirt, mud, or water can get in the display, and anything that splashes on the front or back window is easy to clean.“ 

The Express Portable B is the smaller of the two units at eight feet wide. The larger Express Portable BX is 12-feet-wide. When not in use, the units are designed so that several can easily be stacked for storage and transportation with a forklift. Up to 32 Express Portable units can fit on a truck, and eight can be stacked on a pallet.

The following comes standard with all Express Portable Bs and Express Portable BXs:

  • Laminate flooring

  • Two 88.5” x 10.5” interior aluminum shelves

  • Aluminum frame with standard white paneling

  • One white AirCell (which can be fully customized at an additional cost)

  • One door

While the Express Portables B and BX units were initially conceived as portable offices, they have proved to be too versatile for just a single application. We have found that these units work great as a pop-up retail store, meeting space, broadcasting and podcasting area, photo booth, and, of course, a portable retail window display.

To learn more about the Express Portables B and BX and how you can best utilize a portable retail window, give Event Architecture a call at 214-529-0282.