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
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
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.