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Malls are a way of life in the UAE, with commercial and retail outlets, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, banks and pretty much everything you could want or need. It stands to reason that the commercial real estate economy is centered on retail space leases in malls such as Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall, for their prime location and competitive rates.
A kiosk, stall or wagon is an ideal segue into commercial space. These modular and compact “stores-on-wheels” have a great number of advantages for those starting out in retail and looking for a fast method of selling their products. The kiosks also offer significant benefits to malls themselves, providing an even greater number of shopping options for visitors, adding pleasure to the mall environment and generating incremental income in the form of additional rent.
When opting to rent a kiosk within a mall, high visibility and accessibility are a win-win. It’s also important to consider the location of your kiosk in relation to both nearby stores and other retail merchandising units. Sell products that are not yet available from other retailers in the area. A simple way of highlighting your small business is to build relationships and not competition with retailers that are closely aligned to your business.
Compared to big-box retailers, a kiosk or stall works best if it sells a unique range of items within the same category with a lot less risk. Give customers enough reason to stop and shop and once your target customers are found, maintain customer loyalty with small perks.
Create a well-researched business plan as you would for any business venture in order to secure an ideal lease. Speak with the mall management about issues regarding product approval and display, security, operating costs, cash flow, staffing and lease length. License agreements for kiosks and stalls are shorter and can be renewed monthly or annually depending on the location.
• Do plenty of market research and write a concise business plan
• Locate your kiosk with retailers that are aligned to your business
• Shop around for good deals and be flexible with an ideal lease
Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer