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10.21.2009

TV shops x Department Stores

Today's Senken ran a story on the collaboration between department stores and TV shopping channels.

Jupiter Shop Channel is opening a store inside Hankyu Department Store Yurakucho Hankyu in Tokyo and QVC Japan is opening one in Odakyu Department Store Shinjuku . Both launched on 14 October for a limited time only.

The Yurakucho Hankyu store features Osaka bag brand, ThinkBee on the ground floor and will be open through to the 27th. On 21 October (today), Jupiter Shop Channel will feature the autumn/winter merchandise by ThinkBee on their TV broadcast as well.

The 3-way collaboration (shop channel, department store, and brand) has resulted also in limited merchandise available only at the store and during this limited period.

The store is equipped with a TV monitor playing the spot feature on an endless loop as well.

On the 4th floor of Shinjuku Odakyu features Celebista, QVC's original brand that offers merchandise developed in collaboration with celebrities based on their unique sense of style and lifestyle needs including pregnancy and being a mother.

The 25 sqm store is stocked with dresses, coats, and jackets hitting affordable price points.

This kind of collaboration between TV shop channels and department stores was attempted for the first time in November 2008 when Daimaru and Shop Channel collaborated on bag brand Accessoires Des Mademoiselles Limited (ADMJ).

The manager at Hankyu Department Store is quoted (but unnamed) as saying that this type of collaboration has become more accessible thanks to the credibility of TV shopping improving in the eyes of consumers.

The TV shopping channels are hoping to further enhance their brands' image by being in department stores, while department stores will only go out on a limb if the brands already have positive brand recognition among consumers. This could create some challenges for future collaborations, though they will certainly be on the rise, says Senken.

Furthermore, expanding into brick and mortar retail for nonstore retail brands pose visual merchandising and packaging challenges as well.

Yet this is another form of conversion of distribution channels that retailers and consumers alike will no doubt be watching closely.

Will TV shopping become so credible to the point where traditional retail brands would offer their products more readily as well?

When I closed a deal 15 years ago to sell Olympus cameras to pachinko parlours for them to be available as prizes, my seniors were very worried about the brand image being compromised. After the third order of 2,000+ units came through by the beginning of week 3, I was no longer labelled a rogue or a maverick that tarnished the brand image, but was suddenly a hero among the ranks for creating a completely new channel. Large volume orders do that for sales people.

Will that magic work for fashion brands through TV shopping? Would it work for TV shopping brands in department stores? With 19 consecutive months of sales decline (26months of consecutive decline in fashion items), can department stores ever again deliver that kind of magic for any product category other than food?

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