The wholesale product kiosk

business is a relatively easy

and economical way to

get into retail.




A kiosk is essentially

a stand alone retail set up

that can be located at a shopping

mall, at an outdoor venue,

at a school, or at a sporting

event.




You can often see kiosks when you

visit your local shopping mall.




There also kiosks

set up at outlet malls,

at music festivals,

and at stadiums.




The aim is for the landlord

to maximize his rent roll

by renting out space

that would otherwise

go unused. 




And the advantage to the

retailer is that he often does

not need to sign a lease

since the spaces can be

available on a month by

month basis.




The kiosk retailer can

also save on purchasing merchandise

for an entire store, hiring

the necessary employees

to staff a store, and 

can start on a smaller

scale and build her business

according to her sales success.




Kiosk booths are located in the aisles 

malls, and will sell a

variety of different wholesale products,

such as cell phone accessories,

toys, novelty items, and 

other impulse related items.




Some kiosk vendors work

on a seasonal basis, such

as during the holiday season,

while other vendors work

year round.




Retailers can even

set up a kiosk to

attract shoppers

into their store,

or to offload

closeout merchandise.




Sometimes a retailer

will not want to heavily discount

the merchandise in her store,

so she will sell the heavily

discounted items in a

separate location, such

as in a mobile booth or

kiosk.




A friend of mine set up

a kiosk a few years ago

in the Kings Plaza shopping mall

in Brooklyn, New York.




According to what I was told,

in a very short

period of time during the

holiday season he sold over

20,000.00 worth of 

wholesale electronic

merchandise.




I have also heard of

vendors that purchase

wholesale sunglasses

and can sell upwards of

5,000.00 worth of 

merchandise in a weekend.




While this does not mean

that every kiosk operator 

will do well, it's nice

to hear that there is

potential in this business.




According to IBISWorld,

the estimated annual sales

of kiosks is over 11 billion dollars!




Like in every retail business,

having the right merchandise

for the clientele is crucial.




But with every business there

are challenges as well.




It's hard to develop

customer loyalty when your

kiosk is in the middle of an

aisle that people are hurrying through.




It's also easy for shoppers

to overlook a kiosk if they

are set on going to a store

or to the food court.




Although no one wants to

deal with an aggressive sales

person, the reality is that

kiosk operators have to

be assertive.




If they don't find a way to

connect with shoppers

that are rushing through the

mall or outdoor venue, they

will have a very challenging time

making any sales.




That's why when you

walk through a mall

you will often be approached

by kiosk sales people,

they know that they have

to be proactive to sell

their wholesale merchandise.




Now this does not mean

that you have to be pushy,

but it does mean that you

have to have a strategy to

catch the attention of

potential customers.




If you are going to be

involved in this segment 

of the retail business you

will need a very friendly

and outgoing personality,

or you will need to hire

an employee that does.




So what are the ideal

wholesale products

to sell this way?




While the final decision

is yours, I would recommend

studying the customer demographic

and seeing which impulse items

might be appealing to them.




I have seen vendors sell

products such as Seen On TV Products,

socks, games, magazines,

and collectible plates.




There are also vendors

that set up kiosks based

on a specific fad or trend.




For example, if a new Star Wars

movie is being released

a vendor can set up

a kiosk to sell Star Wars related

merchandise.




Ideally you will

want to stick to

products that are priced

low enough so that 

people can purchase them

on the spot.




Most venues

that rent out spaces

to kiosk retailers

charge both rent

and a percentage of

the sales, but this

is an arrangement

you should negotiate 

with the landlord.




Shopping malls are currently

experiencing challenges due

to the popularity of e-commerce.




Since shopping malls

are not attracting as many

customers as they were in the

past many tenants

have stopped

renting space in the malls.




The lack of mall tenants means

that kiosk operators have more

bargaining power with the mall's

management.




If I personally ventured

into this type of

retail business I would

also develop a website

to which I would refer

customers to.




This way even if a 

customer doesn't make

a purchase at your kiosk

you still have the opportunity

to make a sale to the customer

later on.




You can hand out business

cards, flyers, and postcards as well,

to promote your e-commerce

website.




Although many vendors

stick to one location,

there are vendors that

can have upwards of

100 locations!




Once you have a system

in place, and can secure

a good supply of wholesale

merchandise, then you can

keep expanding as you find

suitable locations.




And since business requires

flexibility, make sure that

you adapt to the trends

and demands of your

shoppers.




Just because you sell

fashion jewelry in one location

doesn't mean that your next

location can't sell something

entirely different such as

cosmetics.




You might even decide to

rent two kiosk next to each other

so that you can sell

products from one

kiosk to customers

that have stopped at

the other one.




One last tip that

I would like to share with

you is the importance of

presenting your merchandise

in a professional manner

that matches the expectations

of shoppers.




If your kiosk is in a

very high end downtown

location you will want to make

sure that it matches the feel

and look of the downtown area.




The same is true if your kiosk

is located in a soccer stadium,

hotel lobby, or airport.




You want to present an

image that will be appealing to

shoppers.