A matchmaking service for pop-up stores

The recession may not have given birth to "pop-up" stores -- there were Christmas tree lots and Halloween costume places long before 7 million of us lost our jobs -- but it certainly has given legitimacy to what is now a full-fledged real estate trend.

Think of it as temporary housing for your business, and figure it's here to stay.

A pop-up store, to those who haven't been able to afford a trip to the mall in the past year or so, is a business that occupies a space temporarily. In some cases, it's a jewelry maker renting just a shelf or corner in a crafts market or a clothing designer who pays a nominal fee to have her line featured in the shop window. And the thing about pop-ups is that they are here today and gone tomorrow. Literally. Some exist, create their buzz and then vanish to some other location. It's part of the allure, say those who track retailing trends.

There are even pop-up restaurants, which thrive in several forms -- including mobile kitchen trucks. In many cities, including Los Angeles, the Twitterati spread the word each day where the kimchi or taco truck is parked and devotees rush to patronize. Lines often form around the block at lunchtime.