When you enter into the world of specialty retail, there are going to be all sorts of terms and phrases that you’ve likely never heard of. And sometimes it’s easier to nod your head and act like you know what something is instead of asking simple questions. So what is an RMU? What is a Kiosk? What is the difference? What is best for you? I’ll be honest with you- when I started in the world of specialty retail– I had no idea what they were. So let me help you!
An RMU is short for a Retail Merchandising Unit. Typically they are smaller with a footprint from about 3’-5’ wide and 6’ to 8’ long. Typically malls or developers will buy multiple RMU’s and place them in areas throughout their centers. While each unit within a mall might not be the exact same, they typically share similar design elements and characteristics. The mall will own these and lease or rent them out to tenants for a specific duration. While you can add your own branding to the units, each mall will have its own criteria for what a tenant can or can’t do on the unit. For example, some locations will let you do a graphic wrap around the RMU and others prefer your product to be the focal point. Some malls will let you bring in your own monitor to display looping graphics, product info, photos, and video reels others don’t. The key to having a great RMU is by using accessories to create an inviting display that highlights your products.
A kiosk is a temporary, stand-alone structure used in high-traffic areas with a primary goal of selling goods and services or providing information and services. Kiosks can be a multitude of sizes, from 8’-15’ wide to 8’ – 30’ in length. Typically your size is determined by the management company. One difference between an RMU and a Kiosk is that you lease an RMU, and a kiosk you lease the space it sits on – but you actually own the kiosk. The bigger difference is that a kiosk can be branded and designed for your brand and to specifically highlight and sell your product. A kiosk can be set up in so many different ways – like a walk around with the salesperson on the inside, or walk through where there is more face-to-face interaction with the customer. While a lot of kiosks sell an array of products, there are plenty that also provides a service- technology repair, teeth whitening, beauty services, massage, and of course food and beverage kiosks. When planning and designing a kiosk- the sky is almost the limit. But each mall or developer will have its own criteria for a kiosk- which materials can be used, how many pylons, overall height, lighting guidelines, etc. So make sure before you get too far into the process you know what can and can’t be done, and it’s helpful to check in with the center's management team along the way to make sure everything is meeting their guidelines.
RMU’s and Kiosks are both great selling vehicles. They can be made for interior and exterior locations. Another thing to consider when opening an RMU or kiosk is staffing each unit. The kiosk or RMU will have to be staffed the entire time the mall is open. Another thing that I have learned along my journey is that there are companies out there to help you with the staffing and training to help free your time up to focus on other aspects of the business. One last thing to think about, if you have a kiosk- it is yours forever. Which means you can pack it up and move it to its next location.
So if you are a mall developer and need updated RMU’s or are starting a new program- we would love to help! If you’re about to start your adventure on an RMU- we can help create custom accessories for you! If you’re ready to have all the fun and develop a custom kiosk- we can’t wait to get started! So whatever you need, just remember help is here and only a phone call (817-520-2320) or message away.