Big box goes small box

Small box is big. Best Buy’s smaller profile mobility stores are the hottest part of its portfolio. Sears has given its legendary Craftsman and Kenmore brands their own retail space. Department stores have also taken the concept in-house, subdividing into branded square footage for DKNY, Etro, Armani, Hugo Boss, Elie Tahari, and other fashion brands. Kidlandia has created an in-store boutique at “big toy store” FAO Schwarz.

And while we will continue to see opportunistic pop-ups—like Purell® hand sanitizer’s current flu-season sites at airports—the real impact has been the advantages of lower real estate costs, smash marketing, and creating retail billboards for your brand.

As Leonard Lauder declared in a recent WWD interview, there’s no assurance that department stores or mass retailing is here to stay. Bricks and mortar merchandising has to outsmart the growing fist of Internet retailing.

But it’s not just social currency that makes the small box big. They are also making cash registers ring. And that’s the box that counts.