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August 12th, 2009Retailers put great stock in little shops

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by Armina Ligaya

Retailers are moving to smaller kiosk stores in malls to be closer to high-traffic areas and generate more revenue with lower rents, industry insiders say.

Eros Group, which sells Samsung and Hitachi, has opened two kiosks in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the past two months and planned to open two or three more by the end of the year, said Deepak Babani, the company’s chief executive.

“The traffic near the kiosks is quite good so you have a lot of purchases which are instantaneous,” Mr Babani said.

“It’s in the centre of the mall and it attracts much more traffic because it’s open on at least three sides, sometimes four sides.”

Retail sales in the UAE have been hit hard by the economic downturn and were down by as much as 40 per cent in the first half of this year, compared with the first half of last year.

Retailers have been forced to become more creative to grab a slice of shrinking sales, while keeping a close eye on costs.

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