A pop-up store that offers a 100% conversion rate has been drawing the crowds in the Big Apple.
Since December, a store on Fifth Avenue at the southeast corner of New York’s Central Park has been packing in shoppers and nobody leaves without making a purchase.
A 100% conversion rate is almost unknown in conventional retail, but the Spectacles store is perhaps a small peep into one possible future for niche retail and a major departure from the norm.
Spectacles is a pop-up and has been trading since November.
Originally slated to close by Christmas, last week queues were still forming outside this almost completely empty space, with shoppers all determined to get their hands on a pair of social media brand Snapchat’s Spectacles.
The proposition is straightforward.
Shoppers wishing to buy a pair of the eponymous glasses (available in a range of colours), that allow them to make videos up to 10 seconds in length that can then be uploaded to the Snapchat app, join the line and are given a wristband that enables them to enter the ‘shop’.
Once inside, they become part of an airport security-style line and when the front of this queue is finally reached, they are faced by a pair of on-brand yellow vending machines.
Using a credit card, the shopper is then allowed to buy up to two pairs – no more than this, as bulk purchase and resale via Ebay is something Snapchat is at pains to discourage – before exiting the shop.
That is the sum total of this stark white-walled retail experience, augmented by screens along the left-hand wall showing videos made, presumably, using a pair of the Spectacles.
This is retail at its most elemental.
A product is in demand and that demand is kept sharp by limiting both the supply and the number of outlets at which it can be purchased (this is the only Spectacles store in the world).
The scarcity of the product also means that it is a powerful marketing tool for Snapchat and finally, purchasers are automatically driven to the social media brand’s website.
Whether the idea is transferable to other sectors is a moot point, but a store that shoppers can only enter when they have effectively made a promise to buy is certainly a thing to take note of, particularly in the current climate.