May 22, 2015

Fully automated and one person retail kiosks

There are about three million interactive [fully automated] kiosks for other types of services globally.

Other markets where interactive kiosks have a particularly large impact are:

• Entertainment (e.g. DVD rental, photo printing, movie ticket ordering)
• Retail (e.g. self-checkout, deli-counter ordering, product information)
• Travel (e.g. airport check-in, hotel check-in/check-out)
• Financial services (e.g. bill payment, coin exchange, check cashing)
• Healthcare (e.g. patient check-in, patient information, prescription refills)
• Municipal & government (e.g. train/bus ticketing, driver’s license renewal, tax payment)
• Information/other (e.g. wayfinding, information, human resources)

Coinstar estimates a $6.7 billion sweet spot for companies offering automated vending of food and beverages, compared with the next biggest market--entertainment, which already includes Redbox -- at $3.8 billion.

The self-service kiosk industry grew 24 percent globally in 2013, and it is projected to continue this growth trend for at least the next five years. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, stated that he expects “2015 will be the year of Apple Pay.” Recently, Apple announced that over 200,000 new self-service machines, including parking meters, laundry machines, and vending machines, are now integrated with Apple Pay. Since launching in September, Apple Pay has already become the most popular mobile payment method available. Apple Pay continues to add financial institutions to its roster of integrated payment providers, and now is integrated by over 750 banks and credit unions.


Redbox has 44,000 kiosks. Redbox had a 38% stake in all movie rentals, including VOD. Overall, the prospects for the disc market are not bright. In a study this week, PwC estimated that physical home entertainment revenue will fall more than 28% from $12.2 billion last year to $8.7 billion in 2018. kiosks bring in more money for the studios per transaction than pay TV or streaming. Redbox does not depress sales of movies.



The one or two employee kiosks

It costs $25,000 to $30,000 for a kiosk versus a minimum of $100,000 to build out a store. Moreover, operating in what malls call “temporary leasing spaces” also lowers labor costs. Most carts can be run by a single employee per shift. Kiosks typically position two employees inside the structure.

There are $8 billion in annual mall sales for the kiosk (one or two person) segment.

Whereas conventional mall stores need window displays to coax customers across their thresholds, carts and kiosks are retailing islands awash in a constant flow of potential customers.

S.h.a.p.e.s Brow Bar is an eyebrow threading alternative to waxing and plucking.

Starting with a cart in a Chicago mall in 2004, S.h.a.p.e.s effectively road-tested the brow treatment offered by Mr. Khan’s wife in her full-service Chicago salon. And it did so cheaply, paying only $2,100 in monthly rent. Success with a second cart led to a kiosk the next year, which increased rent to $4,600 — still about half of the cost of an in-line store.

Mr. Khan plans to expand mostly through franchisee-run kiosks, which are made in Asia for as little as $5,000 apiece. “One of my selling points to franchisees,” he said, “is I can put you in business for as little as $30,000.


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