Gift Shops – With and Without Walls

Are you a person who likes to be the center of attention … or do you prefer to deal with people on a one-to-one basis? Are you at your best when lots of people are swirling around you … or do you prefer calmer surroundings? Are you open to working in an unstructured environment … or is the more traditional set-up of walls and a door your preference?

Whether you choose to market your items from a Kiosk or a Gift Shop, the basics of each plan are similar. First we’ll concentrate on Kiosks, especially the pushcart type wagons that are so popular in malls and other high traffic areas, whether indoors or outdoors. Then we’ll add in Gift Shop information.



You’ve seen the charming wagons in the mall. They’re filled with eye-catching items and surrounded by great foot-traffic and you thought they might be a great way to sell your products. You’re right, they can be. Of course, as with any sales plan, it’s the time and energy you put into it that determines your success.


After you’ve made the decision to lease one of these attractive carts, the first step in your plan is to decide which mall you want to be in. Malls may vary widely as to foot traffic, leasing costs, and type of merchandise allowed. Remember, due to the lack of storage space, you will be constantly restocking your cart and merchandise will have to be carried in on a regular basis, so you may want to lease one nearby, to reduce travel time.


Every mall has a Management Office that handles cart leasing. After you have decided which malls you are considering, a letter of introduction and purpose sent to the office is a good next step.


Whichever mall or space you settle on, you’ll need a business license and a resale number. Business licenses are issued by the city in which you are doing, business. A fee is charged and the license is generally valid for one year. Resale permits are required for all business owners and are free. Check with your City Hall for more information.


After having seen samples of your merchandise, most associations will want to talk with you about the visual concept you have of your planned display. This is to insure that the quality of goods allowed on their carts and how it is displayed is kept at a certain level and the image is consistent with other carts in the mall.

Keep in mind that your merchandise selection for this type of operation will consist of smaller items such as Patchwork pieces, birdhouses, glass ornaments and the like, since storage area in the cart is minimal. With many kiosks, everything that does not fit inside a closed and secured cart must be stored elsewhere or removed every evening at close of day.


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