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Washington Mall rolls out small kiosks for big impact

The Washington Mall is renting out kiosks to merchants to boost business at the shopping centre.

Washington Properties general manager Paul Slaughter explained the economic downturn had inspired new thinking at the Hamilton mall.

“We do have empty units of retail space — and a lot of requests from people who want to start something small,” he said.

So Washington Properties has purchased two kiosks available for weekly or monthly rentals, which would be placed in the public areas of the mall.

Mr Slaughter said: “They're the type of kiosks you see in malls everywhere.”

And the experiment has been successful.

“We are fully booked for the rest of the year,” he said.

“One person taking a kiosk will be selling Christmas decorations, for example.”

“And now we are looking at other opportunities,” he said.

Washington Properties will reprise their Christmas market, for example. “It was popular last year, and there is more interest this year.”

Vendors who have stalls during Harbour Nights, for example, had a presence at the Christmas market.

Washington Properties has been advertising for potential tenants, and included in that advertisement are the results of their recent market survey of mall customers.

Mr Slaughter said the results demonstrated there was demand for a wide array of new stores.

“The popular requests are for a small pharmacy, a small hardware store, and for a men's speciality store selling accessories like belts and shoes,” he said.

“We also had requests for a gourmet food store — we were hoping that by including the polling results that it might trigger someone's entrepreneurial spirit.”

He said if an aspiring shop owner wanted to try an idea before committing significant capital, a pop-up shop could be the answer.

“Carole Holding, (whose Bermuda watercolour-inspired shops sell everything from mugs to maps to jam) — has done it, for example.”

The downturn in the economy has hurt some existing tenants.

“One or two of our tenants have had some difficult times — a couple have closed down,” he said.

“But there's also been a lot of interest — for example, the film printers Kodak Express are relocating, but when word got out, we've had interest and we're about to sign a lease.

“Ideas for alternative types of business have come up, and for the kiosks, we had enquiries from people who would like to sell a product line.”

And, he said: “They might want to expand once they've tested the market for the product.”

Rents vary depending on the size and location of the space. For information go to info@washingtonmall.bm or telephone 295-4186 and ask for Julie Mayor or Paul Slaughter.

Director and General Manager of Washington Properties Bermuda)Limited Paul Slaughter (photo by Glenn Tucker

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Published October 04, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 04, 2013 at 9:08 am)

Washington Mall rolls out small kiosks for big impact

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