Why has music and live entertainment given-up on retail when shopping continues to be part of a consumer’s life?  The old way may need to change, but we have great examples to pull from.

Remember Gateway Computer Stores?  I’m sure Apple did when designing their retail experiences. Most companies would use Gateway as proof dedicated computer retailers don’t work.  Tell that to my girls.  

Gwen and Mel can’t buy a new Apple product every time they visit a store, and yet through constant exploration and a continued brand experience (including product and store design, well trained, passionate brand ambassadors, the ability to “test drive” any of the products, and of course the incredible customer service at the Genius Bar) their aspirations turn from wants to needs.

Maybe a better example for selling live entertainment in a retail experience… based on the number of products sold and the way they are merchandised is cosmetics retailer Sephora. While in one of their stores with my daughters, I imagined it as a live entertainment retailer instead. 

All the mirrors placed around the store became video monitors showing teaser clips from the different events coming soon.  Waterfall racks display different options for shows, times, venues and even details on how the customer’s ticket can be designed and delivered (hopefully paperless yet many fans want souvenirs thus custom designed tickets).  The helpful staff worked in the sections where their passions lie.  A music fan works in music and sports nut in sports.  If a customer needs more info, they can visit one of the makeup counters turned help desks where the experts gives advice the same way the cosmeticians ( I think that’s the word) teach woman to apply their makeup. 

Go visit one of their stores and see what I mean  You will be amazed.


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  1. Neal Kent Says:

    Jim, I would also ask why has the Entertainment Industry never understood that retail is also a form of entertainment in and of itself.

    • jimlewi Says:

      Thanks for writing Neal. It is actually amazing how much those in the ticketing industry “know” retail is a bad idea. I’m still convinced it is worth a try.

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