Everything is changing: The last kiosks in the center of Banja Luka are closing

The main street in Banja Luka has changed its name several times in the last 120 years: from Kajzerštrasa, to Carski road, to Ulica Kralja Aleksandra, Ante Pavelić, Titova… It was called all kinds of things, but it was always a promenade with numerous kiosks. Today, that is no longer the case.

Along the entire length of Banja Luka’s main street, only 3 kiosks are working today, but even they are counting their last days.

“We are leaving, the kiosks are closing”, confirmed the workers who serve the last customers, at the same time returning the traveling salesmen, who offer them goods.

A kiosk in the city center is no longer a profitable business, as it once was.

The kiosk, where newspapers, cigarettes, snacks and similar small items are sold, and which is most often visited by walkers, is no longer a feature of the urban lifestyle, as it was in earlier decades.

Simply, the way of life has changed, and with it the way of trading.

Not only in Banja Luka, but also in other larger cities, there are fewer and fewer people walking and more and more people driving cars. Motorized consumers never stop at a kiosk; they buy everything in shopping centers or supermarkets, where they have secured parking.

Another reason is the declining sale of newspapers, old ones, on paper.

“My grandfather used to go to the Palas Hotel for coffee and buy newspapers and cigarettes from the kiosk on the way. My father walked along the corse, flirting with girls and buying chewing gum and sports magazines from the kiosk. “I don’t walk, I go for coffee or by car or bicycle, and I read the news on portals, via mobile phone,” says a Banja Luka resident.

Along with the change in lifestyle, the business model has also changed. Small entrepreneurs, who have one or two kiosks, have long had a hard time dealing with competition, including disloyal ones, i.e. sellers who sell cigarettes illegally without excise stamps in the markets.

When it comes to “official” competition, large shopping centers are at an advantage, and kiosks are not a profitable business.

“The kiosks mostly sell excise goods, primarily cigarettes, and the regulations are such that excise duties are paid as soon as you acquire the goods intended for sale. Therefore, you should have several thousand marks to invest in goods in advance. And by the way, when it comes to kiosks, the costs are too high compared to the earnings”, economist Zoran Pavlović explained earlier for  Srpskainfo  .

Of course, the closing of the “old-fashioned” kiosks with cigarettes, newspapers and chocolates does not mean that small tin objects have disappeared from the streets of Banja Luka. But they are now home to sales points for the RS Lottery, transport companies that sell tickets, and improvised cafeterias.

Everything is changing, including kiosks and the center of Banja Luka.

Source: banjaluka.com