FEB 8, 2013
The gold vending machine is back at Town Center of Boca Raton.
Just outside of Burberry, Tory Burch, Stuart Weitzman and Banana Republic stores in the corridor next to the Brahman Motors Bentley display is a six-foot-tall golden box that dispenses 1 gram to 10 grams of gold.
Meris Kott, managing director of PMX Gold Bullion, said the machine was placed at the mall Jan. 4 and the company has a year lease. The company used a German machine about two years ago for a trial run at Town Center. This time PMX Gold Bullion Sales, based in Boca Raton and a subsidiary of publicly listed PMX Communities Inc. (OTC BB: PMXO, 7 cents), had its own machine designed.
Another machine will be placed in a Florida mall in the next few weeks, Kott said. Her goal is to have 10 to 12 machines placed in various malls by the end of June.
“It’s a souvenir, an investment or a gift,” she said.
Because of the working relationship developed with Town Center and its owner Simon Properties, Kott said she wants to expand the business in as many Simon malls as possible.
PMX Gold’s parent company, whose sole focus is gold sales and gold mining, had no sales last year and has been operating at a loss. But it reported in Securities and Exchange Commission documents that it sold $266,256 worth of gold during its trial run from mid-December 2010 until March 2011.
Sean Carroll, Town Center assistant director of marketing and business development, said the partnership has been positive. Both the initial machine, which had a four-month run, and the new machine have attracted shoppers.
“It’s a fabulous addition to the mall,” Carroll said.
The company has designed its own gold pieces that are “24 karat fine gold .9999 bullion bars and coins,” according to the company’s press material. They are made in the U.S., Kott said.
There are 2 gram palm bullion bars for $189, 1/10-oz. Cleopatra coins for $289 and 10 gram lion bullion bars for $799 and more, though prices can change if the price of gold goes up more than 10 percent. Gold sold for $1,677.70 per troy ounce on Wednesday.
Kott said the new machine only offers credit/debit card sales, because there were concerns about selling investment-grade gold from a vending machine for cash. The gold items are not valid as currency, since no gold item can be used as currency in the U.S. Kott said buying gold for gifts in common in other countries.
Founding CEO Michael Hiler resigned last spring due to personal reasons, according to SEC filings, and was replaced by CEO Lindsey Perry. Kott was brought onboard at the same time to get the machines launched, documents state, and shortly thereafter PMX signed an agreement with Sunshine Minting Inc. of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.