Monday, October 11, 2010

A Martha Store Near You?

During a recent on-stage interview at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Martha revealed to Shopping Network CEO Mindy Grossman that her company is working on creating concepts for a Martha Stewart store. She did not divulge any details, but this is something that has been a wish of mine (and many other fans of the brand) for years.

Martha did have a stand-alone store in Japan's Yurakucho district ten years ago, which sold many of her products at the time, but she has never had her own store in North America. Currently, MSLO has over 40,000 different products bearing Martha's name, spread over a vast landscape of diverse retailers: Macy's, Michael's, Bernhardt, Home Depot, PetSmart, Safavieh, Flor, Murray Feiss, among others. The idea of being able to source all (or at least most) of Martha Stewart's products under one roof would be a dream come true. Wouldn't it be nice to throw your teal tote bags into the station wagon and say, "Let's to go the Martha Stewart Store, kids. I'm low on glitter and fiesta ware."

As someone who works in retail (Anthropologie) I also foresee tremendous opportunity to really solidify the brand's commercial identity through display concepts, product placement within these concepts, floor-plan design and atmosphere. Allowing the consumer to effectively step into a Martha Stewart "world" would hone the company's merchandising vision while simultaneously giving the customer a personal experience she can remember. (I have a head full of ideas for store concepts even as I write this!)

In any case, this is exiting news. I really hope this becomes a reality.

Martha also announced that readers will be able to download the first digital version of Martha Stewart Living on November 1rst for iPad. "We aren't taking the magazine and putting it on the iPad," she said. "We're designing something completely different." Among the features will be a 'cookie application' and other software designed to help homemakers. The same day this debuts, so too will Martha's special Holiday Cookies magazine!

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