Sep 1, 2003  •  Post A Comment

George Whalin, president and CEO of Retail Management Consultants, on some of the network-sponsored stores:
Concept: Viacom Entertainment Store; Networks: MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon; Result: Closed several stores in 1999; Comment: “It was a terrible store. It failed from the get-go. The merchandise was very inexpensive, it was poorly displayed and the store was built around characters that were not household names.”
Concept: Store of Knowledge; Network: PBS; Result: A chain that lasted from 1994 to 2001; Comment: “It wasn’t because of a lack of strength from PBS that it failed; it was because of inadequate management by an independent company.”
Concept: Discovery Channel Store; Network: Discovery
Result: Launched in 1996. Expanded to 160 stores. Down to 140 now; Comment: “Good stores. Not wildly successful, but they have interesting merchandise, look good and are fun to shop in. They’re also educational, and that’s the hook that makes them work.”
Concept: ESPN Zone; Network: ESPN; Result: First opened in 1998 and has since expanded to eight; Comment: “They’re great. ESPN does it as good as anybody does it. [ESPN Zone] truly reflects the brand and overall concept of the company.”
Concept: Fox Sports Skybox
Network: Fox; Result: First opened in 1998. Expanding to 13 sites by the end of the year; Comment: “Makes sense because you’re talking a sports bar-there’s some merit there.”
Concept: CNBC News; Network: CNBC; Result: First store in 2002. Opening 13 new locations to bring total to 33 sites; Comment: “[Owner and operator] Paradies is pretty good at this business, but I’d have some questions about the value CNBC brings to the marriage.”