At the Freddy store we studied while visiting stores in Milan, Italy (did we mention this was tough work?), we stumbled across their campaign offering a “slow movement of shopping”. The idea is basically as follows:
- The more time you spend in the store, the more money you save. Spend 10 minutes in the store and get 10% off. Twenty minutes, 20% off and 30 minutes, 30% off.
We are intrigued by this idea on several fronts:
- Data suggests that there is a correlation between time spent in retail stores and money spent. The more time, the more money.
- Given the promotional thrust of most retailing today, it may just be another, more creative way to market a discount.
- But (and a giant one…), that time needs to be productive time for the customer. If it is time spent finding a parking space, finding an item or waiting in line to check-out, it can quickly become a negative.
As creative promotions go, this one makes you think. Besides the logistical difficulties of actually tracking time spent, there is something compelling about a retailer who encourages customers to really understand their offer.
In the case of Freddy, this really does seem to make sense. We would kind of liken them to the Lululemon of Italy. They specialize in what they call the art of movement, creating stylish clothing for yoga, ballet and active pursuits. They were the official sponsor of the Italian Olympic team in Beijing as well as the upcoming Vancouver winter Olympics. Like Lululemon, it does take more time to explain technical product and there is a passion for what they sell that does encourage more time spent in the store.
How slow retailing gets balanced against our fast-paced lifestyles is the real challenge. Our research indicates that customers have been shopping less stores and spending less time while shopping. But, there are certainly experiential retailers that would seem to buck the trend.
What’s your point of view? Besides the inevitable slew of Italian jokes—and yes, we can attest that it almost impossible to get anything done in Italy in less than 30 minutes…is there merit in encouraging customers to spend more time in the stores?