Marshall Field’s Boutique Motors Along

Oct 24, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Marshall Field’s latest move is anything but boring.

The department store chain, which has been criticized in the past for offering a less than scintillating shopping experience, has opened a new in-store boutique selling, of all
things, Italian Aprilia motor scooters in its State Street flagship location in Chicago.

In a company statement, Ralph Hughes, regional director for Marshall Field’s said, “If you’ve traveled in Europe you know that scooters are a primary mode of urban transportation.”
Mr. Hughes and Field’s expect that people in Chicago will be attracted to this mode of transportation in the same way Europeans are.

Dan Skoda, president of D&R Consulting in Chicago told Crain’s Chicago Business, he gives Marshall Field’s points for being different. “Department stores have been criticized
over the last couple of decades because every one carries the same thing,” he said.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Marshall Field’s opening a boutique selling Italian motor scooters?

We agree with the view expressed in the Crain’s piece. “While Field’s says it hopes Chicago residents will embrace the idea of scooting around town instead
of driving hard-to-park gas-guzzlers, the department store would probably settle for added foot traffic from curious shoppers attracted by the Aprilia boutique. “

Anderson – Moderator

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