May 22nd, 2013Tiny Mall Kiosks Make a Surprisingly Big Impact
Typically bound by short-term leases, displaying products made by others, and run by first-time entrepreneurs with limited capital, shopping mall carts and kiosks have long been considered an unsophisticated small-business underclass. More recently, however, these small-footprint retailers have come to be seen as possessing surprising potential.
“We’d been in business five years at one of our Atlanta kiosks,” said Taki Skouras, chief executive of Cellairis, which sells chargers, batteries, decorative cases and other accessories for wireless devices. “A lady bought something and asked, ‘Hey, are you guys going to be here after the holidays?’ We just celebrated our 13th anniversary at that location.”
Today, employing a corporate staff of 130, manufacturing 70 percent of its 60,000 distinct products and shipping from nine warehouses, Cellairis has 720 retail locations. Most are no bigger than 150 or 200 square feet, but systemwide revenue now exceeds $350 million a year. For Cellairis and others, kiosks have become a very big business.
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