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December 14, 2011


Cart or Kiosk… Does Size Really Matter?

by warrenh

Are you currently planning on opening a specialty retail business selling out of a kiosk or cart in a local mall? Maybe you are thinking about starting a specialty retail business selling baby products out of a kiosk or cart to people traveling on air planes arriving and leaving the local airport? More and more professional people these days are deciding to operate a kiosk or cart in a local mall, airport, or other venue in preference to a retail store. This decision allows them to take advantage of the benefits of selling products through a kiosk or cart as thousands of people around the world have decided to do during the past few years.
What are the differences between a kiosk or cart for people thinking about opening a specialty retail business? A kiosk or cart is a smaller store located in a local mall, airport, hospital, or other venue selling products to people walking past the retail location. Generally, a local merchant owns the kiosk, and the operator of the kiosk will lease it through the local merchant in question. A cart on the other hand is usually supplied by the business owner and licensed to the cart operator in question.

The Benefits of Selling out of a Cart vs a Kiosk?

One of the best things about selling out of a kiosk or cart is the visibility of your products and the ability to demonstrate to people walking past the benefits of your products through demonstrations. The monetary investment required to start a specialty retail business selling out of a kiosk or cart is also significantly less than a retail store. You can start a specialty retail business selling jewelery or baby products out of a kiosk or cart to people passing by with an investment of between $2,000 – $10,000.

A kiosk is often leased or rented for a period of weeks to years, depending on the kiosk location and other factors that will vary in different regions of the country. A kiosk is also more expensive to manufacture and set up than a cart and generally they are kept in one location permanently.

A cart on the other hand is often rented and can be quickly and reliably moved from one location to another. This gives the operator of a specialty retail business selling out of a cart flexibility in location that a kiosk just doesn’t have.

A specialty retail business selling out of a cart is also likely to be less expensive to get started and operate than one doing business out of a kiosk. A cart is smaller than a kiosk and smaller means less initial investment in the business and less operating costs in general.

The decision to use a kiosk or cart to sell products out of could be the decision that ultimately decides the fate of your new specialty retail business. Use the information above to help you decide whether you want to sell out of a kiosk or cart. Weigh the benefits of each carefully and relate them to your business plans and we’re sure you’ll come to the best decision for you and your new specialty retail business.

Read more from Featured, That's Debatable
9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Val N.
    Jan 20 2012

    Whether cart or kiosk once you have decided which you would prefer to start up your business with, come visit us at for all of your point of sales needs to help run your business as efficiently as possible.

  2. sweetness
    Jan 18 2012

    Compared to an in-line store – size does matter! If you are new to the retail industry and have a cool product, you should definitely test it out at a cart or kiosk. The start-up fees don’t compare to what you would pay if you had an actual in-line or brick and mortar. Test your product, see the response you get from customers and hopefully you can atleast maintain or even grow!

  3. Shawn
    Jan 17 2012

    Very interesting. I always wanted to know the difference between a kiosk and a cart. thanks for the info!

  4. Clark Hall
    Jan 12 2012

    Hello. Thank you for the article, I am seeking any helpfull information on starting a vending cart or a kiosk.. I am learning more towards the vending cart what are the basic necessary steps that I should take before starting my business at a mall?

    • mer84
      Jan 18 2012

      If you don’t mind. I will email you directly?

      • warrenh
        Jan 19 2012

        Hi: Thank you for the comments. You can talk to me at Have a great day.

        Warren Wong

  5. Antonia P.
    Jan 11 2012

    Very well said. Kiosks placed in highly visible areas has more increase factors than those not noticeable by consumers. The availability of space and access to the internet will greatly influence the kiosk location and use. Both convenient and easy for the owner and the consumer.

  6. Jan 3 2012

    This business model has a profit potential depending on the product/products one is dealing with Vs the location of the cart/Kiosk. If one’s kiosk is located next to a big mall, it is advisable to deal with products that will not be found in the different shops inside the mall such as a rare collection of CDs and DVDs. Yeah, as much as outlets inside the mall i.e supermarket maybe stocking DVDs, most likely they may not have a particular collection of DVDs such as the ones that talk about historic personalities and historic events. Therefore, as a kiosk owner, one should take advantage of this. I find the above listed products easy to deal with even if one will be operating from a local airport.

    • mer84
      Jan 18 2012

      I’m glad that you’ve mentioned airport. Specialty retail in airports are on the rise, especially the self serving kiosks. That is another big location option for potential business owners other then major malls.


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