McDonald’s to Explore Selling Non-foods

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May 29, 2002
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McDonald’s Corp. is quietly exploring how to use that vast real-estate network of 46 million customers a day at more than 30,000 locations around the globe to sell other items beyond food, reports The Wall Street Journal. Executives are calling the strategic project simply “extension.”

“We need to think of ourselves as a retailer,” says Matthew Paull, McDonald’s
chief financial officer. “What else can we do on that real estate and that can
make us a whole lot of money?” Mr. Paull says Big Mac is about two years away
from any kind of launch “beyond food,” but that the company is “going to try
a bunch of experiments.”

Gwen Morrison, president of WPP Group PLC’s retail consulting unit, the Store,
says McDonald’s could sell toys or offer travel planning to Disney parks while
mothers watch their kids play in McDonald’s playgrounds. Peter Brown, chairman
of Kurt Salmon Associates, a New York retail consultancy says he could see McDonald’s
selling such things as stamps, videos or even watches. McDonald’s might simply
act more like an advertising agency and sell space on the back of its food receipts
or display ads on video screens, figures Peter Oakes, an analyst at Merrill
Lynch.

Moderator Comment: Should McDonald’s broaden its sales
scope beyond food?

Don’t take your eye off the ball. [George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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