The Grove, LA’s shopping version of Disneyland’s Main Street, replete with its own double decker trolley is arguably one of the most successful lifestyle centers in the U.S. From sunup to sundown and beyond, this place is packed with people from all walks of life who are there to shop, dine, enjoy the outdoor entertainment and more.
Home to a megaplex of theaters and an Apple store (plus so many others), The Grove has packed in visitors even more so than usual with the opening and continued success of The Dark Knight and the launch of the iPhone.
And that’s where the opportunity is. Snaking around the streets of The Grove are lines of people. Lines for people waiting to see the film and lines of people waiting to buy their iPhone.
Lines of people who are hot, lines of people who are thirsty, lines of people who are waiting up to an hour.
And that’s where the opportunity comes into play. The Grove (or Apple) gave those waiting in line to purchase an iPhone an umbrella to shade them (some days it was 90 degrees while they waited).
But no one (at least as far as I saw) took advantage of the captive audience. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf didn’t offer them a taste of a chilled coffee drink. The Haagen-Dazs stand didn’t offer up a taste of a smoothie or ice cream. The hair salon didn’t give them a chilled towel to freshen up. Any one of the dozens of restaurants and food stands at the Farmer’s Market at the Grove could have offered up a sample.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
When life gives you lemonade, you better sell it.
In this instance, you didn’t even have to make lemonade out of lemons. The lemonade was already made, with thousands of customers waiting to be served.
A simple taste, accompanied by a discount coupon had the potential to drive thousands of new customers to any of these stores and restaurants.
A simple bit of relief, in the form of something cool to eat or drink could have been the link between these stores and the potential customers. A starting point. A point that raised awareness that the store was at The Grove. A point that helped customers understand the store sold a particular item. A point to launch a new product.
Keep your eyes open. Opportunities are everywhere. Life isn’t about lemons. It’s about lemonade. And had I owned a retail establishment at The Grove during this time period, I could have retired with all the proceeds from the lemonade I would have sold.