Freehold Mall is Central NJ's finest mall. With anchor tenants such as Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom's, specialty retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods, a movie theater, and fine restaurants such as the Cheesecake Factory, the mall regularly draws large crowds from its affluent local and regional demographic. On any given Sunday, the parking lot is packed to capacity, and the mall crawling with shoppers.
One day while visiting the mall, my colleague Greg Nice and I brainstormed about renting a kiosk every other Sunday. We imagined the thousands of shoppers being exposed to our logo, walking by the kiosk where a smartly-dressed DJ was mixing beats; meanwhile, footage of our weddings and Super Sweet 16s was projected on a 50 inch plasma. Greg Nice and I were dressed in our formalwear, ready to chat with prospective customers about their once-in-a-lifetime celebration (with credit card machine on-hand to collect deposits!). To build our Facebook fan page and mailing lists into the thousands, we would introduce an awesome giveaway such as a free Coach bag or i-Pad. A team of hustlers resembling a squad from The Apprentice would work the mall and fill the sign-up sheets with ease. What a pretty picture!
The fatal flaw in the plan came down to price. To have a piece of the success of the Freehold Mall is quite expensive. Renting a kiosk on a monthly basis costs in the vicinity of $4,000. We received a quote for a three month campaign of $7,500 which included two Sunday appearances per month (total of six appearances). Effectively, this meant a daily rental charge of $1,250. Adding in the kiosk build-out, promotional materials, giveaways, and staff expenses, we were looking at $1,600-plus per show. Despite the mall crowds, the rental charge per show seemed too high for the risk of this unproven marketing program. Moreover, I was not convinced that those planning formal affairs would accept the notion of finding their disc jockey at a mall kiosk. After all, mall kiosks are for hawking hair extensions, Dead Sea body scrubs and cellphone accessories!
For now, the best retail store in town is the internet where prospective clients can shop for services 24/7, 365. For annual web hosting and domain name renewal, we pay about $50 per year through Godaddy.com. Talk about cheap rent for a store which attracts droves of targeted customers!
If you haven't stopped by yet, visit our online kiosk at www.ambientdj.com.