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Odd Kiosk: Do you know how to reinvent convenience?

02/25/2021| Daniel Córdoda-Mendiola| 10 min


Odd Kiosk is the perfect example of the reinvention of a traditional retail concept by placing the consumer at the centre.  


Many types of retailers require urgent reinvention if they want to ensure their survival. The solution can be found in good segmentation, good service, and a good cup of coffee.


Why should I read this?

The speed with which we have shifted our consumption to the online environment left scores of retailers high and dry. We read the newspapers online, the most popular hardware store is on Amazon and we can buy the special edition of that exclusive luxury perfume without having to step inside their (empty) premises and risk the untrusting stare of the assistants. But we keep reading the newspapers, we still need light bulbs and gifting a fragrance still seems like a sure bet. Space must be reinvented because the need has not disappeared.

What are we talking about?

In mid-November 2020, something happened on the corner of Calle Valencia and Enrique Granados in Barcelona. The newspaper kiosk that had been there forever closed down, like so many others in Barcelona. Nothing new here. The pandemic that changed everything and the fact that our information menu is consumed by the telephone has left the newspaper kiosk uninteresting for many people.

After a few days it reopened, but this time with a different name and a proposal that kept the best, the USP of space evolved and returned the interest to a specific community that resides near the kiosk. The kiosk is called Odd Kiosk and is defined as “queer coffee.”

Without giving up the traditional daily and weekly newspapers, for the moment, in paper format, the bulk of the offer lies in magazines, books, posters, prints and other well-designed treats that proudly carry the flag of the well-informed, well-read, meaningful and modernised queer.

The proposal has the perfect balance. If you identify yourself as queer and you go looking for things, you find them. Also if you are from the neighbourhood and need your newspaper. Without activism, with excellent service and a complicity that attracts and creates loyalty at the same time, Odd Kiosk has reinvented convenience by thinking about the empathic and aspirational interests of a community and a neighbourhood.

The fact that they serve coffee -and they have done their homework well, as they serve Nømad’s, specialty coffee, non dairy drinks Oatly and soft drinks (kombucha and other “purposeful” drinks)- round off the proposal and does something that becomes essential in convenience premises: magically extend your stay while you wait for your coffee to be prepared or soft drink to be served. These minutes are essential for you to stock up on that international design magazine you didn’t know you needed, or a book you’ve heard about, but you never tried actively looking for.
Thinking of a community without aligning the rest, Iván and Txema have managed to advance the destination of the kiosks.

Links and what to pay attention to:

  • Art direction of the proposal
  • Align product mix with experienced proposal
  • Reinvention of the convenience channel


Whether it’s a chain of stores selling fashion, appliances or haberdashery, nothing escapes the digitalisation and transformation of the shopping experience. This doesn’t mean that it is the end of the business model.

What tension does it resolve?

Convenience is quickly becoming the only retail channel that, for now, cannot be digitally satisfied. It needs a quick update that contemporises your USP value if you want to survive.

From a strategic perspective:

In most cases, the main motivation of your category does not change. What has changed is everything else. We respond to the needs and motivations of the way the consumer wants, not in the way we believe it should be done.

Who might be interested?

To branders and retailers alike. If you manage a brand, you are interested that the convenience retailer that sells your product has a differential and relevant proposal that justifies the premium price that you are going to charge for the immediate availability of your product. If you are a retailer, you must be able to capture the needs of your audience, not only the ones that have remained unchanged for years, but those which could make your proposal relevant due to other factors: geographical location, product diversity, service speed, sizing…

Where do I implement it?

In defining, evolving or transforming your USP and in building a mix of products and experienced proposals that make your offer relevant, and not just convenient.

How do I implement it?

  • Analysing the catchment area with criteria based on qualitative research and lifestyle.  
  • Listening to and constantly debriefing the professionals who attend and manage your spaces on a day-to-day basis.
  • Forgetting about prejudices.

How innovative is it?

With reference to the kiosks in Barcelona, there are several models that advance the convenience experience on different routes.   There are lessons to be learned about consumer behaviour and needs in these spaces that we can reverse in our proposals.

Key concepts:

Convenience, accessibility, queer, LGTBQI+, media, retail


Who is using it already?

The reinvention of convenience is not only in the interests of those who manage these businesses/channels. However, it is worth learning from the following examples:

  • Petit Pret: The ultra-convenience version of fast-food shops in the UK.
  • Foxtrot: convenience store chain in Chicago.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Accurately segment your catchment area.
  • Question the extent of your area of influence/catchment area.
  • Even if you want to cover the needs of a community, you should not forget the rest of the consumers, making proposals that could polarize or alienate them.

How do I get a clearer idea?

  • Reading the updated version of “The Experience Economy.”
  • Going to any kiosk after reading this and thinking about innovative routes and improvements in experience based on your audience and product mix.

How do I share it with my network?

“Who would have thought that the traditional kiosk could be a source of inspiration for innovation at points of sale.”

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