Date: January, 23, 2012 / Author: Barbara Wright
Categories: Ask The Expert, Growth and Profit Tips, Office Design FAQ, Selecting Colors, Size and Shape, Trends
Fabled high fashion retail mecca Barney's New York invited Lady Gaga to create her vision of Santa's Workshop for the 2011 holiday season on an entire floor of their Fifth Ave. flagship store. It was on my short list of new stores to see while I was in the city celebrating the New Year with family. She did not disappoint.
It was a real spectacle: colorful, edgy, and over-the-top. So were the prices! A spiral-bound notebook that you can buy for $5 at Staples was priced at $25 because it had a neon green cover with the Lady Gaga name and logo on it! Lots of people were looking, but I didn't see many actually buying anything. Cheap plastic sunglass goggles with black lace glued over the lenses were $40! Are you kidding me? Actually finding anything at Barney's that's under $50 is almost a miracle.
The giant toy train was fun and the little ones loved it. If you wanted your 3-year-old to be the hippest kid at pre-school, you could buy him or her a black mini-motorcycle jacket with Lady Gaga logo patch for a mere $275.
This kind of promotion was probably done more to get press attention, attract people into the store and maybe sell enough Gaga-branded product to break even. And there it succeeded. The store was packed! They put the Gaga Shop on an upper floor, so you had to go through the whole store to get to it. Then they made you exit a different way so you had to see different parts of the store as you left.
What can you as an optical retailer learn from this? Successful retailers don't sit around and hope for more customers. They create events to draw people in to their stores. You don't have to do anything as elaborate or expensive as Barney's did, but you can have a trunk show to introduce a new fashion collection. You could partner with a local outdoor adventure company to promote their kayaking or mountain biking trips and educate patients about the specialty eyewear they will need for the sport. Use your knowledge of your patients to create an event that they will enjoy and ask them to bring their friends.
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