Think Retail

Jill Lajdziak thinks this recession is her best-ever moment to innovate. Not coincidentally she also thinks retail is a critical point-of-difference for her born-again brand, Saturn (link).

For Saturn, retail is the outlandish idea that buying a car should actually be a pleasant experience — before, during and after the sale. Jill is not the only one who is thinking "different" about retail.

Microsoft is creating stores that may not sell anything, but will help customers experience its software. Shiseido is training 5,000 "beauty counselors" to pamper its customers with personal service, and sell more products as a result.

Nespresso is Nestlé’s fastest growing brand in part because it controls its own retail experience through 175 of its own boutique stores, including its flagship on the Champs Elysees in Paris.
P.C. Richard, an east coast electronics retailer, is setting up shop in a rundown neighborhood along the New Jersey turnpike as part of a strategic plan to improve customer service and drive its next round of growth.

GameStop, a purveyor of used videogames, is growing not only because it offers great value, but also because it employs enthusiasts who speak its customers’ language.

So, while most of the retail world responds to economic crisis by laying off workers and slashing prices, a few enterprising souls see something quite different indeed.

They see retail as the future of marketing itself, a future in which it’s the experience that matters most, and faith that the cash register rings when we treat our customers right.

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  • Thomas Cornelius

    Recognizing the opportunity to increase sales with the existing foot traffic in a retail store is not new to us and it should be very retailers business. When we are in a store, we are not magically creating a new consumer – we are working with the existing foot traffic and increasing sales in different categories. This utilization of the existing foot traffic is one of the greatest untapped assets we see in our retail partners today.

    There have been many studies about consumer behavior – entering the retail store, spending time at the checkout, where to approach the consumer, and how. Most of these studies take into account variables that are used for passive impressions on the consumer, generated by displays based on their walk-through flow in retail stores.

    But the bottom line is - make the best out of your existing foot traffic. Read more at

  • Jim Anderson

    Tim: I think that you've hit it on the head. Wasn't it Charles Dickens who said "It was the best of time, it was the worst of times." Right now is the best opportunity that most retail stores will have to both take market share and position themselves to become a leader once the economy turns around.

    Yes, yes - everyone needs to be watching the bottom line in order to make sure that they can keep the doors open, but at the same time this is the one chance that we're going to get to leap ahead. Five years from now we'll be able to look back and see who was able to make the most of this unique opportunity...

    - Dr. Jim Anderson
    The Business of IT Blog
    "Discover The Secrets Of Making Your IT Department An Indispensable Profit Center"