Retailer’s Guide To Mall Kiosks Business In South Africa

kiosk-manufacturers-in-johannesburg-scanretail-1030x687Always wanted to own your own mall kiosks business but weren’t sure if you could afford it? Now You Can. Retail kiosks are a brilliant way to get started. With low costs and flexible mall lease terms, kiosks can turn your dream into a reality. Although retail is going through some big changes, at Scan Retail, we believe that when disruption happens, not only does it generate pressure but it also generates golden opportunities, and that is where our shopping kiosk hits the ball right out of the park.

Over the years, mall kiosks have continued to quietly and steadily rise – and here is an expert guide to help you understand mall kiosk business in South Africa:

What exactly is a mall kiosk?

An effective prize-winning marketing tool that can be strategically placed just about anywhere, mall kiosks are a shop front display that has grown beyond fashion, food, makeup, books, art, and everything in between. Today, retail display stands vary from style to design to the material used to create them. While some interactive self-service kiosks provide information, tickets, and booking services, there are others that display retail goods. Believe it or not, high priced items sell very well on retail kiosks.

Mall kiosks are designed for high-end shopping malls

A flexible acrylic free-standing mall booth, boast full-colour interchangeable lightweight prints, LCD screens, hanging solutions, shelves, and digital tablet enclosures. Also referred to as a pop-up shop or retail merchandising unit (RMU), kiosks can be found for all stand configurations, and can even be added to or broken up into modular sections to suit the mall space or the tenant needs.

What are uses & advantages of retail kiosks?

The use of kiosks in a retail setting is steadily gaining popularity in the South African market as competing brands are adopting the strategy of using shopping kiosks to increase revenue. For any retail brand looking to expand, or for a small start-up that’s just getting started, mall kiosks help in growth. The perfect way for new and old brands to sell and promote their products or services, retail units come with several advantages.

  • Lowers overhead expenses

Mall kiosks are cost-effective with low overheads, and the best part is that they do not require the commitment of a full lease agreement contract. Retail kiosks are ideal for those who want a short-term lease to see if the location (geography) is right for their products. Spending a few thousand on a test like this can save you hundreds of thousands when compared to opening up an actual shop. If you don’t have the budget for a full-scale retail store but would like the benefits of selling in a high traffic area with low-cost rental and lease term flexibility, then a mall kiosk is for you.

  • Maximises visibility and doubles sales

A marketing opportunity that comes with many benefits, mall kiosks are considered the greatest salesman you will ever have. Providing many valuable uses and advantages to brands looking to enhance their retail revenue, not only is your retail display just as important as your merchandise, but it also has the power to maximise your visibility and double your sales.

  • Tests new products or concepts

A ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ temporary to permanent marketing genius, mall kiosks are not only ideal for promoting seasonal products, but they afford retailers the opportunity to stay current with their buyers, stay on top of trends, and interact with shoppers. But it doesn’t end there – shopping kiosks are perfect for testing the potential of new products or concepts in the market.

  • Enhances customer buying experience through personal interaction

It’s no secret that the future of experiential branding is just getting started. Retail is no longer just about selling. Today’s consumers are bored to death of the same old marketing campaigns that offer nothing but high price tags.

Today’s consumers want more…

Today’s consumers demand a more convenient, seamless and enhanced shopping experience, and if you want to catch their attention then you need to give your consumers what they want – and that is experiential interaction.

Using various strategies, such as product sampling and experiential marketing, a mall kiosk has the power to create a unique, memorable, and photogenic experience that will not easily be forgotten.

  • Encourages the spontaneous purchase of merchandise

When it comes to shopping kiosks, impulse buying is the name of the game. Most of your sales are from people who pass by your kiosk, which is why it’s so important to have your kiosk positioned in the perfect location that is right for your products. Retail location captures more shoppers, and therefore, more impulse sales.

How much money can you make with a mall kiosk?

Just like every business, your main objective is to maximise brand visibility and bring in sales, and one sure-fire way of doing this is through the use of a pop-up shop. Imagine throwing yourself into a 10-year lease with an astronomical rental? Well, this is exactly what many retailers have had to do over the past few decades. But that’s all changed now, because pop up shops have shaken up the retail world, and it’s just getting started.


A unique, sophisticated and intelligent marketing genius, a pop-up shop has a much cheaper start-up cost than a brick-and-mortar store. In fact, according to StoreFront, a retail kiosk is 80% cheaper than opening a traditional brick and mortar store. Sleek, interactive, versatile and super flexible, retail kiosks have enabled hundreds of start-ups to get off the ground.


Placed in the right environment with the right high-foot traffic, you’re not only guaranteed to get noticed, but you’re also guaranteed to triple sales. Now, who would want to sign a long balance-breaking lease when something short-term can generate so much buzz and revenue, especially in this economy?

A step by step guide on how to get a mall kiosk space in a mall

When it comes to scouting a possible location for your retail kiosk, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind – the kiosk design, the rental of the space, and the foot traffic. Bear in mind that finding temporary commercial real-estate used to be a lot more difficult, but with more mall owners and real estate agents appreciating the value that retail kiosks bring to their location, there are increasingly more and more options ‘popping-up’ all the time.

Generally, you have three options:

  1. You can either rent a basic standard mall kiosk that allows you to set up shop;
  2. You could contact a high street property owner and lease one of their spaces and kiosks; or,
  3. You could contact Scan Retail, who can assist you with placement, right in the middle of the action in a high foot-traffic mall, as well as offer you the choice of either a standard, off-the-shelf kiosk or a bespoke unique unit.

Should you decide to go with us, here’s how it works:

  • First and foremost, choose a mall and meet with the person responsible for exhibition space leasing or non-GLA leasing
  • If you already have a mall in mind, you will have to determine the criteria and restrictions for that particular mall, such as height and space – which varies from the mall to mall. You will then have to meet with a Scan Retail consultant to discuss your requirements and placement needs.
  • In order for us to assist you with a quality kiosk, you will have to give us a budget. We can either provide you with a standard retail display kiosk that is specifically prototyped and developed for malls, or you can get a precision engineered unique bespoke kiosk designed specifically for your needs. The budget will include conceptualisation, planning, structural layout, design, manufacturing and installation.
  • The design, building and installation of the mall kiosk will be your presentation to the mall, and the mall or estate agents will approve the layout based on whether the mall kiosk meets their criteria.
  • Once the layout is approved, we will quote.
  • A deposit will be payable upon which time manufacture will start
  • A date will be set for installation and your standard or bespoke retail kiosk will be installed on that day
  • Our installation team will draw up a snag list and attend to the snags within seven working days, after which the remainder of the invoice will be payable. In the case of wear and tear, we can also be contracted to do maintenance work on the kiosk.

How much does it cost to rent a kiosk in a mall?

While temporary commercial real-estate used to be a lot more difficult to find, with mall owners appreciating the value that retail kiosks bring to their location, it’s not hard to lease a basic kiosk from mall management. However, the rental cost will greatly depend on the season and the mall traffic volume, which can be extremely high in high-foot-traffic malls. In addition to paying a monthly rent, some malls also charge a percentage of your monthly sales, which is why you need to decide on how much you ‘re willing to spend.

Kiosk cost: how much can you spend?

The thrill of the hunt to find that perfect space is much like finding and securing your dream home, but once you’ve found the perfect space and kiosk for your brand, it’s all worth it. There will obviously be costs when businesses become mall tenants. As the ideal vehicle for grabbing attention and displaying your products, a retail kiosk can cost anything from R60, 000 to R300, 000 to purchase, depending on the size and finishes chosen.

Other costs include the following:

  • A security deposit will need to be negotiated with the mall owner or agency;
  • You will have to invest in shop-fitting and signage costs for the shopping kiosk;
  • Costs to stock (merchandise) the store for trading purposes;
  • Operational system support for point of sale equipment;
  • Recruiting and staffing the store;
  • Your own marketing costs; and
  • Monthly rent and electricity which usually includes security and cleaning.

Retail kiosk: To Rent or Buy?

On the market for a shopping kiosk but wondering whether you should rent or buy? Nowadays, starting any new business is tough, and even more so if you’re a start-up looking to cut costs and save money. Should you fork out thousands each month on a standard kiosk or should you buy one and reap the many benefits that come with a unique bespoke display unit?

Why pay someone else’s bond, when you could be paying your own!

At Scan Retail, we understand that shelling out thousands on a retail display can be tough, which is why we offer affordable financing options. At Scan Retail, our financing options work on a 60% deposit followed by a monthly down payment with calculated interest, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

How to maintain a retail kiosk: Insurance, warranties etc

Not only are retail kiosks cheaper to start a business, but they are also cheaper to maintain. Because a kiosk is smaller than a regular brick-and-mortar store, the operational costs of running a kiosk are much smaller than a regular store. Rental of space is cheaper, repair and maintenance are cheaper, and supply cost is cheaper. Should you purchase a retail kiosk, then insurance and warranties will be included. Should you rent a retail kiosk from the mall, you will need to discuss insurances and warranties with them.

Who needs the mall kiosk?

Retail kiosks have introduced a new way to engage shoppers. From retail to healthcare, numerous industries are starting to leverage the many benefits of mall kiosks and retail displays. Primarily, retailers are opting for retail display solutions.

Modern modular kiosks are designed and built for a variety of different services, and with plenty of franchise options out there, as well as short-term lease commitments, there has never been a better time to invest in a retail display stand. As a popular storefront alternative for retailers looking for a temporary or inexpensive location with high-foot traffic, kiosk stands are not only for retailers in malls.

These marketing geniuses are perfect for airport retailers, cart and kiosk retailers in high-end parts of the city, gift store owners, international retailers, mall managers, pop-up retailers, shopping centre executives, exhibitions, start-up entrepreneurs, and speciality leasing managers.

At Scan Retail, our modular retail kiosk is the perfect solution for malls wanting to make the most of empty floor space and for small retailers looking for affordable platforms to sell their products.

So, what’s the future of mall kiosks?

It’s no secret that the retail industry has taken a huge knock over the past decade. In fact, we’ll even go as far as to say that conventional brick-and-mortar is on the decline, driving many brands into a panic. Let’s face it – disruptive technology has had an enormous impact on the in-store retail industry, sending both big and small brands and everything in between into liquidation.

Whether you’re a retailer in a mall, a mall owner, an airport manager, a sporting or music events agency, or a regular at the exhibition and display trade show circuit, then you know just how tough competition can be, especially in today’s economy. Unfortunately, competition is not something that any brand can escape, and in today’s cut-throat world of retail, having a great product or service is also not enough.

With consumers having more available options at their fingertips, today’s consumers approach the buying process more knowledgeable than ever before. Not only are brands struggling to get consumers to enter their floor space and buy their products, but malls are even finding it difficult to win over traffic. Read more about the future of pop up shops in our previous blog

Retail kiosks help keep brick and mortar stores relevant as e-commerce expands

While much of the world has gone online, disruptive technology has had an enormous impact on the in-store retail industry. Today’s consumers are bored to death with the same old lame marketing campaigns that offer nothing but high price tags.

Modern retail has evolved into a whole new playing field, and if you want to thrive and survive in the new age of retail, you need to embrace the future of retail with retail display stands. A hybrid marketing genius that is unique, sophisticated and intelligent, the future of mall kiosks is all about experiential marketing and keeping brick and mortar relevant.

A booming trend that has revolutionised the typical brick and mortar shopping experience, mall kiosks are all about shifting perceptions, and it’s only just getting started.

Start your retail trading journey with Scan Retail

Renowned as a prize-winning marketing genius, if you’re going to invest in a retail kiosk, invest in a unique bespoke unit that will create the right image your brand deserves. As experts in our field, we design, engineer, and manufacture standard and bespoke retail kiosks and displays to showcase your products in any setting.

At Scan Retail, we understand the pressures faced during a display set-up or retail fit-out. Never failing to deliver on brief, on time, and on a budget, our retail design experts will help you identify your unique needs and challenges, and create the precise solution according to your budget and merchandise.

Read mall activation display checklist to make sure you have all your bases covered when purchasing a mall kiosk.

If you or your company are new to the world of retail displays, partner with us to help you create a compelling retail experience.Whatever your brand’s values or business goals – we can help bring them to life.