The concept of scrambled merchandising (“carrying any product lines they think they can sell profitably) has existed in practice and in Essentials of Marketingas for many editions – since before my time as co-author (and that is more than a dozen years). Yet the practice seems to be gaining popularity in the face of growing online competition as brick-and-mortar stores seek new ways to enhance profitability. In this USA Today article and video, “Retail mashups bring experiences such as getting a tattoo and shopping together,” (September 11, 2017) we learn of some interesting examples of the practice.
Sharing some of these examples in class could be fun. You could show your students the video just to get it started. To extend their learning, ask your students about the potential benefits each party might receive for such a pairing. Use one of the specific examples in the article to make it more concrete. So, for example, each party might be exposed to new target markets. For the tattoo artist, the cost of operating in the back of an existing store might be lower than opening his own shop – and Shinola can generate additional rental revenue. These short questions break up a lecture and encourage students’ critical thinking around retailing—a topic they already know something about.