Friday, October 22

1-800-CONTACTS at Walmart

The store within a store concept is not a new one. Just look at Ralph Lauren at any of the major department stores. That brand creates its own unique experience in a dedicated boutique within the four walls of another store experience, like Macy's or Bloomingdale's. It's a great model because the combination of the two brands brings benefits to both -- Macy's gets the allure of Ralph Lauren, and Ralph Lauren gets the store traffic and cross country exposure of Macy's.

There are tons of examples of the store within a store concept - can you name a few?
- Toys 'R Us at Albertson's
- Sephora at JCPenney
- Starbucks at Target
In these examples, the strong equity of the partner brand enhances the draw of the major retailer, and the big retailer provides added distribution and "doors" that the other brand may not have been able to achieve on its own. It's a win win, shall we say.

A relatively new one that I find interesting is 1-800-CONTACTS at Walmart.

Two "price brands", so there's a good equity match -- but it's the first brick and mortar play for 1-800-CONTACTS. Solid move for that brand because getting into Walmart is hitting the big leagues in terms of exposure and store traffic. They are getting consumers who would have never bought contacts online. Great move for Walmart too, though, since it enhances their image as the place to get everything you need at everyday low prices. Even your contacts.

Both get incremental revenue.

Love the store within a store concept - the more unique the better, as long as there is a great equity match. With 1-800-CONTACTS and Walmart, I do believe there is.

What's your experience? Jim

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