Re-Inventing Retail

From the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
Tips | Tactics | Insights on the Business of Retailing.

Lessons from Comic-Con? Yes, but... Bookmark

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You've heard of Comic-Con, right? It began in 1970 in San Diego to celebrate pop culture, from comic books to films and science fiction/fantasy literature. It has since grown into an extravaganza attracting 130,000+ costumed fans, industry professionals, Hollywood types, vendors and spectators. 

Or, as Patricia Vekich Waldron, the CEO of Vision First observed*, "After nearly 50 years, Comic-Con has turned in many ways into the ultimate pop-up store."

And she challenges retailers, developers and brands to "pay attention to how Comic-Con continues to captivate and delight its fans." 

She focuses particularly on the immersive experience of Comic-Con. "Everyone wants to learn, explore and purchase."

"Too many retailers," she suggests, "focus on the purchase step." 

Of course, there are reasons why retailers "focus on the purchase step." The definition of retailing is selling to the ultimate consumer. And given the prevailing business model, whereby the retailers own the inventory, you bet they focus on selling those goods!

Could – or should! – that business model change?

- Could a retail store be like Comic-Con or Disneyland or other "immersive experiences", and charge admission?

- Or, could retailers levy a fee on their suppliers, and be compensated for featuring their products in a compelling retail experience?

- Or....

Retailing is forever adapting, adjusting, reacting, changing, evolving. And retailers are well-served to recognize and apply good ideas wherever they can find them.

We agree; Comic-Con has many lessons to offer retailers – on the "theater of retailing."

But in the meantime, retailers are well-advised to continue their focus on "the purchase step." 

Theater is great, but it's nothing without adequate sales. 

Those retailers who forget that may well end up like Comic-Con, whose stated mission, after all, is to be "a non-profit educational corporation."

* see "Lessons from Comic-Con – the world's biggest pop-up store." Patricia Vekich Waldron, Retail Wire, July 25, 2018.

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About The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, The Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, have been called "The Zen masters of retail finance!"

Since 1999, they have been assembling  their proprietary content into a unique self-help website. The Retail Owners Institute is an unmatched resource that assists retailers worldwide with basic financial training, assistance and easy-to-use tools.

Their engaging and empowering how-to resources about the financial levers in retailing are informative, fun(!), and retailer-friendly. Their promise: "Everyone will 'get it'!"

Pat and Dick are recognized experts in strategic retailing. Working only as a team – Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990.

They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail. And they also are Retail Turnaround Experts.

Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"