Thursday, May 05, 2005

Meet me at the lifestyle center, okay?

After this year, Nike will no longer sell their shoes at Sears. For a marketer like Nike, who wants to sell an experience as well as a product, the Sears-Kmart environment just isn't cool enough. "'Advertisers are learning that where they sell their products has tremendous effects,'" says one analyst. What's needed is a place "'where your product values are reinforced by the venue.'"

In fact, malls aren't cool enough. More and more retailers are seeking out lifestyle centers (go ahead, cringe at the term. I do.) described as "small, convenient, open-air retailing complexes...laid out to evoke the small-town shopping districts." Translation: no teenagers, mall walkers or parking garages. And for the second post in a row, I'm reminded of Jennifer Rice's remark that people want to belong -- in this case, people want to belong somewhere cool. So no Orange Julius!

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