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Framing Kiosks for Success

Apr 1, 2009

Two suppliers of products for kiosks and carts frame their programs (literally) for attracting attention and generating sales. They are Roseys Unique Products in Monroe, NC and Specialty Retail Sales, based in Rio Rancho, NM.

Specialty Retail Sales offers, "Behind the Frame," which are Frame A Word picture frames that allow consumers to fit photos within picture frames that spell out words. Roseys' primary product offering is moving sand pictures, which are provided in a choice of four sizes. Both companies make their products themselves in the U.S.. Roseys also offers hand wrapped jewelry, and has the capability of actually building a cart, kiosk or display. "We have a complete woodworking shop and can obtain architectural designs from Carolina Custom Millwork," says owner, Rick Rosenbalm.

The carts, kiosks and displays can be created on a custom basis for kiosk vendors, and are made of wood or plastic laminate. Rosenbalm says, at a minimum, his firm can create a raised platform with risers for a push cart or kiosk for $300 to $600. "Typically, they provide 360 degree visibility," he says. They are custom tailored to the vendor's specifications and needs.

Roseys' moving sand pictures consist of a Baltic birch plywood frame on a pivoting swivel stand. Motion forms pictures of the colored sand, and the user can control the speed. Rosenbalm says his company is the only one to offer them with more than five colors. He offers a choice of 16 colors, "Four of which are true neon," he says, and four have blacklight. The top seller is of coral sand with pale blue liquid, and can be neon activated.

"Moving sand pictures have a calming and relaxing effect that is therapeutic," Rosenbalm says. As evidence, his company made a 14 by 40 inch wall hung unit for the Shriners Hospital in Columbia, SC. Another is on display in the South Carolina State Museum's, "Powers of Nature," exhibit.

The four sizes he typically offers to kiosk vendors are five by eight inches, seven by 11", eight by 10" and 11 by 14 inches. All are just one and a half inch thick, "Like a shadow box," he notes. The wholesale costs of the four sizes are: $13.75, $16.25, $18.75 and $25.25. The suggested retail prices are: $27.50, $32.50, $37.50 and $50.50.

The minimum order is 25 pieces in a starter kit, which Rosenbalm recommends to test the market. The kit includes eight of the smallest units, three of the largest one and seven each of the two middle sizes. The wholesale cost of the kit is $430.75.

The units can be hung on the wall or set on a table top or shelf. Roseys also makes custom orders. "We can even incorporate a moving sand picture into furniture," he says. Rosenbalm recommends that kiosk vendors have a black light and create a dark corner where they can show one glow. "This significantly raises sales," he says. The product in motion is shown on a video on the company's website, and he also recommends that vendors show the video, if possible. Units come with complete instructions. Roseys has been making moving sand pictures for about 25 years. As a result, these units have greater clarity and speed flexibility, in addition to more colors, than units offered by competitors.

David Vigil, owner of Specialty Retail Sales, recommends that a kiosk vendor carry about 40 different words. The frames are nine inches tall and 28 inches wide, and contain up to nine letters, behind which the customer puts the photos. The frames come in black or brown and come complete with the capability to hang them on the wall, or set on a flat surface.

The photo openings are designed to take three by five inch or four by six inch photos. The frames have easy open turn buttons on the back, making it easy for people to change the photos as often as they like. The stock words involve popular themes. "Grandkids is the number one seller," Vigil says. Other popular units are also family related and include Sisters and Friends, as well as Family. There are designs for all popular athletic pursuits, hobbies and the military. While they are offered in 24 different matte colors, Vigil recommends that kiosk and cart operators not carry more than six different color mattes for any one word. "When there are too many choices and options, people find it difficult to make a decision," he reasons.

Vigil suggests that in order to maximize use of space, kiosk and cart vendors keep a supply of blank frames out of sight, and show a few on the kiosk, showing photos in some of the most popular words. "Although we have a CD of sample photos that vendors can use for display, ideally the vendor should insert some real photos of friends and family," he advises. "Then show a display of the many different name matte inserts on racks, so customers and prospects can flip through them." The vendor can then take the chosen matte and insert it into a blank frame. Vigil does not suggest that customers bring photos to the cart. "It's best if they buy the framed mattes and take them home," he says.

His company can also provide custom orders of mattes with people's names, up to nine letters. "These are very popular," Vigil says, "and the vendor can take orders and get paid up front." Specialty Retail Sales will ship the same day or in one business day.

"We can dropship to the customer," he says, "which some consumers like. However, it's better for the kiosk vendor to have them delivered to the retailer, so the customer has to come back to the cart or kiosk."

Neither Specialty Retail Sales nor Roseys Unique Products requires vendors to carry only their products. Vigil says Behind the Frames work very well with anything related to photos. "Too many different products dilute the impact," he acknowledges, but says products that have sublimated printing on mugs, T-shirts or plates are particularly complementary.

Rosenbalm's company has a second product category, which is hand wrapped jewelry made by his son, Travis. The younger Rosenbalm says the items are spiral wrapped sterling silver pieces with stones, and he is adding gold filled wire jewelry. Currently, he offers a variety of spiral wrapped rings, about 29 styles of bracelets, five styles of necklaces and some pendants and earrings. "New styles are being added all the time," he adds.

Travis offers a basic ring tray that contains 36 rings, containing a mix of different stones, for a wholesale price of $1,000, or an average of just under $28 a unit. "The smallest unit has a suggested retail price of $55, and the largest generally sells for $65," he says. Brooches are new to the line and retail for about $35, which is double the wholesale cost. Earrings wholesale for $7.50 a pair, and the suggested retail is a minimum of $15. Numerous additional earring styles are on the drawing boards.

Pendants wholesale for $10 and sell for between $25 and $30. He also supplies 16 inch and 18 inch thick rope chains that wholesale for $60 and $75. The typical retail for the 16 inch version is $120. "The chains don't have stones, but the vendor can add a pendant," he notes.

The minimum order is $125 and can include a mix of jewelry types and styles. For a beginning investment, Travis Rosenbalm suggests at least one or two necklaces, three different chain style bracelets into which different colors can be inserted, and an assortment of at least a half dozen rings.

In conjunction with his father, Travis is able to develop displayers for the jewelry, and display units can be custom tailored to a kiosk or cart vendor's available space and other needs.

The following were interviewed for this article:

Rick Rosenbalm, owner
Travis Rosenbalm, principal
Roseys Unique Products
Monroe, NC 28110
Tel.: 704-320-1865

David Vigil, owner
Specialty Retail Sales
4017 St. Andrews Drive
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
Toll Free Tel./Fax: 888-949-4443

Topic: Kiosk Korner

Related Articles: kiosk 

Article ID: 975

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