FRONT LINES
3/1/2020

How About Happy Hour?

Jennifer Polanz

A recent story on Bloomberg highlighted retailers that are installing bars in their establishments. It’s not far off from the time when department stores had restaurants (I distinctly remember visiting Lazarus in downtown Columbus as a kid and eating at Charlie’s in the basement. We weren’t ready for prime time with the fancy Chintz Room on the fifth floor).

The story reports retailers like Bergdorf Goodman are getting in on the boozy action as a way to attract and keep shoppers, while loosening up the purse strings a bit.

“A round of drinks is a second pair of shoes,” the story quotes David Bruno, a former buyer and now a consultant for Goodman’s Bar. “A bar means people are spending more time within your walls. The more time they spend and the more loose they are, the easier the sale on everyone’s side.”

Of course, serving alcohol comes with its own set of challenges and the retailer has to decide if that’s a potentially pothole-filled avenue worth pursuing. An interesting concept, nonetheless. GP

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