Fashion’s Night Out: A winning concept?

There was mixed reaction among RetailWire panelists about the merits of the fourth annual “Fashion’s Night Out” event. It has spread across the country, but the question is whether it rings the register while it drives traffic and customer contacts. My observation:

I can only assess what I observed last Thursday evening, at the Crystals shopping center in Las Vegas. (This is the ultra-high-end collection of designer stores that is part of the new CityCenter complex.) FNO succeeded in drawing more traffic into the mall than at any other time I walked through it last week, but I did not see a lot of purchases being made. (The Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas contains a much larger assortment of moderate-to-better stores and looks to be thriving better than Crystals.) And the biggest traffic draw appeared to be the free samples being offered outside several restaurants in the mall. At the same time, there was a live band playing so loudly that a lot of potential customers (like me) were fleeing for the nearest door.

It’s hard to judge the efficacy of FNO without knowing what the numbers look like, and it’s probably valid as a long-term branding tool. But what I witnessed did not look like a lot of incremental activity.



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