Being the Smartest Man in the World is great but there is one drawback. I get ideas about everything and once my mind gets locked on something I think can be fixed I tend to work it through till I have a solution.
This brings me to a few days ago when I mentioned on Twitter that I had been thinking a lot of Department Stores. I was thinking about them because I had spent some time in a few and saw several ways to make them fun and cool again.
From the size alone, Department Stores should be larger than life places where you can find anything you are looking for. The pitch should be that Department Stores can offer you the world all in one location.....but instead it seems like they only offer private label clothing at a discount.
When I was a teenager my family made regular visits to New York City and I was always fascinated by Macy’s flagship store. They had boutiques in the store from major labels as well as the place had/has a real electricity that you could feel. The same just can’t be said for Canadian Department stores.
So here are a few ideas to change that......and by a few ideas I mean just a few. I have plenty more but I may keep them to myself until I get a call from one of these retailers asking me to help them out!
-Toy Departments should be places that parents can leave there kids while they shop. Toy Manufacturers can have “open” product for kids to play with in a supervised playground area. This would allow the parents to shop “Child Free” and the kids would not only develop a connection with the store but the parents would almost have to purchase something from the toy department since the child will have basically assumed ownership of the toy he/she had been playing with while his/her parents shopped!
-Electronic Departments can host events like Movie Nights in the store. This would be a sponsored, catered event where people can watch a movie (or TV show like a season premiere sponsored by a local network) on a certain brand television. Get caught up in the atmosphere and spectacle of the event. Meet people. Attend with friends and after the event they could receive a discount offer from whatever brand TV hosted the event.
-The Kitchen Ware department should team up with the Appliance department and host free lunches (all sponsored by the manufacturers) for the shoppers. Ovens, Pots, Pans, Dishes, Cutlery, Serving Pieces could all be showcased for people to see “in action” while enjoying a free meal.....and who doesn’t like a free meal?
I could keep going on and on but you will see that the main goals of my ideas are not only get people in the stores but to keep them in. The longer they stay, I assume the more they spend.
Department stores need to partner with their vendors to make changes because they (the stores and the vendors) have the same goals (sell product) and the stores certainly have the real estate to do some super cool events that would make people passionate about Department Stores again.
Let me know what you think of these ideas
The Smartest Man in the World