“Rent a Box” or “Rent a Shelf” is a business concept that seems to have taken a strong foothold in the retail scene in Miri. But with more and more such outlets mushrooming in shopping malls in the city, I think competition is getting tough and shop owners need to be more creative to try to attract customers.
The business concept allows entrepreneurs who cannot afford the high rental and staffing cost in Miri to have a retail presence. It helps online retailers and budding entrepreneurs showcase their products in a proper retail space at a very affordable price. Through this avenue, more people will be able to realize their dream of becoming a “business owner”.
With the advent of this business concept, lack of capital or retail experience is no longer an excuse for not venturing into business.
You choose a box, pay a deposit, stock your products in your rented box and you are in business. Boxes that are on eye level and nearer to the cashier or at more strategic positions are usually priced slightly higher. Some outlets also charge a small commission on sales in addition to the rent.
I was at Imperial Mall this afternoon when I saw the recently opened Candy Box Miri. I took a quick browse inside the shop and noted that quite a lot of the boxes are still empty and waiting for tenants. I like their layout and how all the boxes are locked to prevent shoplfting.
In the boxes that have been rented out, I saw Australian souvenirs (I really doubt these will sell), beauty products, pomades (this seems to be the staple item at rent a box stores), costume accessories, health supplements, decorative items, toys, etc.
I believe it pays to sell innovative or unique products to cater to the contemporary consumer demand. To stand out from the crowd, do your “pull marketing” by generating publicity online so that you do not depend entirely on walk-in customers. Decorate your box to make it stand out as your box is competing with so many other boxes in the shop. Sell your products at competitive prices or with a unique selling point.
An idea just struck me. I wonder whether antique coins, currency notes and stamps can sell well or not if they are retailed using this business concept. I think I will explore this idea as I have a big collection of coins, currency notes and stamps. I am already selling on Ebay so I might as well venture into offline retail too. I may drop by Candy Box Miri next week to explore this further with the owner of Candy Box Miri. No venture no gain, right?