(Filed Under Fashion News). Walking on the lower east side in Manhattan this past sunny Sunday afternoon, I came across something one doesn't see often, even in New York: girls in bikinis playing with hula-hoops in the middle of a street.
What looked like a party that spilled out onto the sidewalk, complete with music, colorful chalk drawings decorating the street and bubble machines spitting out bubbles galore, it turned out it all belonged to the American Apparel store on the corner of East Houston Street and Orchard. The store had staged a 'sidewalk sale,' and unashamedly used their employees' bodies, clad in little neon two-piece bathing suits, to garner attention.
Whether this served as a way to quickly get rid of under-performing styles, or whether this was simply an attempt to bring attention to their store—in what is repeatedly referred to as a slow economy—the production certainly got my attention.
Underwear was being sold in a $5 bin, while t-shirts and dresses were being sold for $10 and $12, respectively. But the goods were not the store's best items and did not entice me to actually buy anything. However, it did make me stop and browse (and take photos for your delectation), which is more than other retailers have done.
The store has, according to a store employee, been doing these Sunday sidewalk sales for a couple of weeks and plans on doing them "every Sunday." The idea came from the corporate level, cleverly cashing in on a closed street adjacent to a very busy street.
I could not help but wonder if other retailers will employ such extreme if amusing, marketing techniques in this retail market. If you are a store that has done something interesting to draw customers or if you have simply spotted such a strategy in action, be sure to email me.
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