How to Start a Business at the Mall Using a Kiosk

Updated February 21, 2017

Kiosks exist in just about every mall in the country. They are the stand-alone retail booths that sell a variety of speciality items, such as jewellery, niche body care lines, purses and hats. Since the space they take up is relatively small, the rent on a kiosk is much lower than that of a traditional store. The lower start-up costs of a kiosk make starting a business less of a financial risk. If you are looking to become a retail entrepreneur, opening a mall kiosk can be the starting point for your business idea.

Choose a specific type of product to sell at your mall kiosk, such as embroidered sports caps, silver jewellery, cell phone accessories or handbags. You will have a limited amount of display space, so specialising in a particular niche is important.

Obtain the permits required in your state to operate a retail business, such as a fictitious name certificate, or DBA, Employer Identification Number and resale permit.

Make a list of all the shopping malls and centres in your area that have kiosks. Call each one and get the following information: kiosk rental rate; availability of kiosks and sizes; whether you will have to pay the mall a percentage of your profits; marketing help available to kiosk retailers.

Compare the options on your list, and pick the best three in terms of pricing and support available to kiosk merchants. Schedule a visit to each mall location and look around at how well kept the building is, the amount of foot traffic and the other types of kiosk merchants that are already there.

Sign a lease with the mall that has the more favourable atmosphere, most foot traffic and that does not already have a merchant selling what you plan to sell.

Purchase wholesale merchandise from a distributor in your niche--buying wholesale is essential to making a healthy profit.

Buy or make signage for your kiosk, as well as an attractive product display. The mall or shopping centre you lease in will have signage and display guidelines you must abide by, so ensure you know what those rules are.

Promote your mall kiosk business. Launch a promotional website, open social networking accounts to connect with potential customers and ensure you provide a friendly face for passersby. Impulse purchases will make up the bulk of your sales, so you want to appear as welcoming as possible.

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About the Author

Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.