business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Financial Times has a story about how “after a torrid year of historic bankruptcies and store closures, retailers are getting creative to convince people to buy in store instead of on their laptops at home.” In this world, the story says, the keyword is “experience.”

The retailers taking notice range from Tiffany to Walmart. At Tiffany’s flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, the company has created a restaurant on the fourth floor that for $29 where people can have an actual Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It apparently has been a success, though it has suffered because Tiffany is located next to Trump Tower, where the mix of high security and the occasional protest march has made access problematic from time to time.

(For young MNB readers, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s was the name of a 1958 novella by Truman Capote and then a 1961 romantic comedy directed by Blake Edwards and starring Audrey Hepburn. If you don’t know who Audrey Hepburn is, I weep for you.)

At Walmart, as previously noted in MNB, the retailer is throwing parties in the aisles as a way of attracting shoppers into the stores.

Some other examples from FT: “Saks this year unveiled a wellness spa at its flagship store, complete with a salt bath chamber and fitness classes at a prison-style boot camp. American Eagle is offering free laundry facilities to students at a new concept store. Urban Outfitters is selling pizza alongside Adidas hoodies in some shops.”

The premise is simple. If they’re going to compete with Amazon, they have to offer something that Amazon can’t … because doing the same old thing simply isn’t acceptable, adequate or appropriate.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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