“Store within the store” idea gains traction…a good thing?

How useful is the “store within a store” idea? Retail Wire panelists recently weighed in:

The answer to the “store within the store” concept is, “It depends!” For example, Sephora has given JCPenney some critical mass and credibility in the cosmetics business that it was unable to achieve on its own, and it continues to surprise me that they have not rolled out this initiative faster. For other areas, such as toys, it makes sense for a retailer who is not a “category killer” to give itself the halo effect of a well-known specialty concept.

On the other hand, the concept can be carried too far. I still believe that traditional department stores have taken the European-style idea of branded “shops within the store” too far in apparel areas, causing a lot of duplication of assortment and navigation issues for consumers.

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