What, Lion King Burgers Again?

October 1998


What, Lion King Burgers Again?

Consumers may be getting bored with the more gimmicky forms of retail-tainment

Retail-tainers may be doomed to a not-so-fun future. Some retailing researchers say consumers are already suffering burnout from the plethora of themed stores and restaurants that have sprung up since the merging of shopping and entertainment became a strong trend in retailing earlier this decade.

One piece of evidence: three of four respondents in a Chicago Sun-Timespoll earlier this year said they were tired of themed restaurants. Retail-tainment skeptics say there are just too many flashy stores and that they're too similar. They also argue that much of the entertainment being featured in stores does nothing to enhance their identity or their sales. Playing MTV on monitors in the juniors' department just doesn't make the cash registers ring.

Which isn't to say retail-tainment can't be done well. An article in Marketing Toolsmagazine cites several examples of success. In general, retail-tainment works best when the events or special attractions tie in with the products being sold – such as cooking demonstrations in the housewares department Macy's stages. Or do-it-yourself demonstrations in the hardware area, à laHome Depot. Often, it's the little stores that get it right. Book Passage, a bookstore in Corte Madera, CA, holds its own against the big book chains with a schedule of writing and language classes and book discussion groups that draw people into the store. Ace Farm & Home, a hardware store in Shawano, WI, holds special events to attract its farmer customers. Among them are pedal-tractor pulls and brunches for area dairy farmers.

Jewelers can take the same tack, with lectures and/or question-and-answer sessions on the care and handling of jewelry, jewelry history and other related topics.




Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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