For years, entrepreneurs without large budgets have turned to the concept of running a market stall, sometimes called a kiosk, in a mall or other high-traffic area as a business model. However, you can't simply roll a cart piled high with remote control helicopters out near the entrance and start planning your tropical island retirement. A market stall/kiosk business is still a business, and you need to have a burning drive to succeed for any idea to work.
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Remote control cars, aeroplanes and helicopters are a speciality product that never goes away, and it's easy to see why. Remote control vehicles tap into the imaginations of young kids, especially boys, and tempt them with acrobatic feats of skill. Chances are the thing won't work nearly as well when you get it home, but that misses the point. Retailers have long known that the way into parents' pocketbooks is by appealing to their kids.
A gadget both kids and adults crave to no apparent end, the cell phone is another perennial contender for mall space. Until science figures out a way to implant communication technology directly in our heads, selling cell phones, cases and other accessories is an excellent choice for a market stall. Most good-sized malls have more than one kiosk hawking cell phone-related accessories.
The American public is notorious for its appetite for spur-of-the-moment purchasing of T-shirts emblazoned with cute, silly, obnoxious or stupid catchphrases. Another approach is to sell shirts, hats or shorts that support one or more of the local professional or college sports teams. As with many good business schemes, the trick is to circumvent the consumer's logical thought process and tap into the "impulse buy" gene. While your ideal customer may already have five Florida Gator shirts in the closet which he never wears, there's always room for one more.
Huts selling sunglasses have been a market stall fixture a long time. Americans like their sunglasses and often will pay an extraordinary sum of money for the perfect pair, especially if it has the right manufacturer's name. No matter the product you choose to sell, do your homework first. Be sure you have a reliable supplier and can turn a profit on the price you intend to charge. Rent for high-traffic mall spots can easily run into several thousand dollars a month. On the flip side, a well-run kiosk with a popular product might generate a couple of hundred thousand dollars of profit in a year.
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