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Malls for minipreneurs

Malls for minipreneurs

A mall in Detroit has started offering retail space and short-term contracts to small entrepreneurs. One for the region to emulate?

March 3, 2009 2:53 by

According to a research report by RNCOS published in December 2008, total retail sales in the UAE are projected to grow at a rate of 12 percent for the period spanning from 2008 to 2011, despite the global economic slowdown.

Meanwhile, the number of malls is also rapidly increasing. In February last year, the head of Dubai Shopping Malls Group predicted that the amount of retail space in Dubai will double to 40 million square meters in the coming years.

With so much retail space available, it might be a good idea to copy a concept recently started in a mall in Michigan. Trend spotting site Springwise outlines Urban Retail’s Oakland Mall, which offers small startups and minipreneurs special leasing rates to make it easier for them to try out their products among mall shoppers.

Twelve kiosks (which include display cases, counters and shelves) have been placed throughout the mall and can be leased for a day, a week or a month. Rentals start at around $300 for a weekend, but the rates are negotiable.

The idea behind the program is to help smaller entrepreneurs with seasonal offerings or those who want to test out a new product or trend, say the mall’s officials. Without the pressure of long-term contracts, which are not affordable for many small businesses, the minipreneurs also get to try out their products at the malls.

The concept not only benefits the entrepreneurs, but also the mall, which can lease out smaller areas and make a quick buck during these tough times.

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