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Monday, February 22, 2010

Stores Within Stores Give Me Something To Talk About

Union Station East HallA question I frequently ask my retail experience presentation participants is what other businesses might be worth partnering with. In other words, what if you could enhance your overall retail experience by featuring stores within your store? Perhaps a business related to your category, or perhaps not.

It's a concept that this article from The Sacramento Bee titled Stores within bigger stores seem to pump up sales explores with examples from grocery stores, department stores and restaurants.

The benefit as described by store owners: "we're offering more choice and leveraging the infrastructure." And also driving sales.

From my perspective, stores within a store seem an ideal way to offer Unique, Relevant, Memorable Retail Experiences. Don't you think?

Malls do so by bringing together a range of retailers under one room and now adding kiosks and other temporary vendors within mall halls. Why can't free standing stores do the same?

The arrangement could be seasonal or event-based as Lis Calandrino describes in Meet Lisbeth Calandrino - Executive Coach Extraordinaire where flooring and shoes come together to tell a fashion/design story after twice-yearly shoe buying trips.

Imagine giving the concept of a store within a store a shot. What might be the benefits?

You certainly set the stage for variation and novelty. You create opportunities for magical conversation and unexpected sales. After all, by bringing together unexpected products, you create serendipitous juxtapositions that fuel conversations that help sell product. Finally, if you partner locally, image the community building that's possible!

What else?

What experiences have you had with stores within stores? Which are the best examples you've come across?

Image credit: Union Station East Hall originally uploaded by Mr. T in DC


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