February 10th, 2009Oakland Mall offers kiosks with low rent for startup businesses
by Jennifer Youssef
Troy, CA — Don’t expect the dozen new kiosks at Oakland Mall to be stocked with familiar calendars, designer cologne or cell phones, typical of many stand-alone retailers at malls.
Instead, look for lesser known products and services by budding entrepreneurs such as Chevelle Downs of Detroit, who is testing a line of natural cosmetics on local shoppers, after trading her city police job for a more favorable schedule.
Oakland Mall is making the 72-square-feet kiosks available to Downs and others through short-term leases, which range from a day to a week to a month.
The mall’s goal is to make it easier and less risky for startups by allowing them to avoid the commitment of a long-term lease. Rentals begin at about $300 for a weekend but are negotiable.
“If someone is looking for a career change or wants more exposure, this gives renters an opportunity to do so,” said Deborah Beattie, leasing representative at Oakland Mall. “They can get short-term leases so they’re not committed but they can still come in and test the market.”
Five of the contemporary-looking kiosks, which include counters, display cases and shelves, have been leased. Businesses include a home improvement center and home security company.
Some are staffed while others simply display company products and information as well as drop boxes for questions and suggestions. The kiosks are adapted to suit each renter’s needs.