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A mall kiosk is a small retail booth located in the aisle of a shopping mall. A relatively recent innovation in the world of retail, the mall kiosk is now ubiquitous in shopping centers throughout the United States. A retailer typically owns a mall kiosk, while the similar mall cart is usually rented. Since they appeared in the 1990s, mall kiosks have undergone a number of changes, and they are now available in a much greater variety of shapes and styles than they once were.
The mall kiosk takes advantage of foot traffic in shopping malls and seeks to attract impulse buyers. The owner of a mall kiosk can display his or her wares to the public without the necessity of enticing people inside a storefront. Some retailers who use kiosks actively invite passers-by to try their products or watch a demonstration. Another advantage of the mall kiosk over a traditional storefront is the reduced expense of keeping it fully stocked. The kiosk model benefits the mall by turning formerly unutilized areas into retail spaces.
Kiosks and carts are best for vendors of small specialty products, such as jewelry, toys, or cosmetics. Some, however, feature more unusual offerings, such as chair massage or futuristic ice cream. Some people use mall kiosks simply to advertise for their business, such as a gym or travel agency. For some products, the mall kiosk offers the perfect amount of space and visibility. Other vendors use the kiosk as a springboard to bigger, more established companies with permanent stores.
The owner of a mall kiosk or cart usually rents floor space in the mall. They may rent at a flat rate, which is typically higher in the holiday season of November and December. Alternatively, they may pay a basic rental fee plus a percentage of their sales revenue in excess of a certain amount, a figure known as overage rent.