The Near-Naked Actress and the Grand Opening

Discussion
Oct 20, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Sharon Stone was on hand to help open the new Luis Vuitton store in Paris last week and her choice of clothes caused quite a stir.

According to a report on the Monsters and Critics web site, Ms. Stone showed up for the grand opening wearing a designer coat with her birthday suit underneath.

An unidentified source is said to have told the New York Post (the original source of the story): “Sharon showed up in a Louis Vuitton coat with nothing underneath. That
was it – she was like a flasher! She wore it as a dress.”

Other celebrities were also on hand and fully dressed by all accounts. These included actresses Salma Hayek and Winona Ryder.

Moderator’s Comment: What are the keys to successfully opening a new store, assuming you cannot get near-naked celebrities to attend?
George Anderson – Moderator

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7 Comments on "The Near-Naked Actress and the Grand Opening"


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Jeff Weitzman
Guest
Jeff Weitzman
15 years 4 months ago

Let’s face it, any store that wants to should be able to find a half-naked celebrity for their opening; they’re practically lying around in the streets.

I think a successful store opening depends greatly on the kind of store you’re opening. The Sharon Stone trick works for fashion, but not consumer electronics. Wait a minute, it would work pretty well for gadget geeks too, come to think of it. Well let’s say it wouldn’t work for a supermarket.

Basic formula: 1) What is your store all about? Luxury? Service? Low Prices? 2) Turn up the volume on that attribute further than you could ever sustain for more than a week. Celebrities, Demonstrations, Giving Stuff Away 3) Advertise.

Ben Ball
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

To paraphrase MC Hammer: “You can’t top this”…

…but a great start is the “By invitation only” approach to your relevant target. They are not that hard to identify and reach in the store’s trading ring, and properly presented, relevant invitations create a positive impression even if they are not immediately accepted. Using a combination of mail and voice (ala last week’s RW Webinar) is a powerful combination.

Ed Dennis
Guest
Ed Dennis
15 years 4 months ago

I believe we would need a link to a website containing photos of this event to actually determine the strength of the drawing power of this type of exposure. Additionally, a good link might also allow us to determine the level of noise created by Ms Stone’s outfit and speculate as to the ability of any male shopper to determine what store he is in or what is being sold in that store.

We might also be able to suggest tie in promotions for future events of this nature.

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
15 years 4 months ago

With Sharon Stone demonstrating her sovereignty in that Paris store opening, and assuming that store opening was considered a success because of that, perhaps a select group of Minnesota Vikings might plan future store openings featuring Luis Vuitton pigskins and whatever.

Now to the sublime. A very well-trained staff and a well-announced pre-opening promotional campaign will usually get a store off to a good start. After that, it requires always being in-stock with tailored merchandise and having employees who are knowledgeable and seriously customer oriented.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

That was a tough lot of choices, George. I would have preferred an all of the above option. None of those given are sufficient in themselves but, in combination, should at least produce an impressive opening day crowd. Whether customers return or not is another matter, most likely influenced by their first experience and assessment of whether that impression is likely to remain consistent (either good or bad).

On the other hand, one of the most popular tourist attractions in England is a garden whose owners/gardeners frequently work naked. To further encourage visitors, several days each summer are open for one and all to strip off. So perhaps a store opening featuring naked customers might be a feasible alternative to just one scrawny celebrity.

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

It helps to have a “soft opening” for a week. In other words, the store is open but there’s no publicity. Any minor construction punch list items can be finished, new staff gets used to working together, direct-delivery suppliers get the store on the right schedule, etc. It’s a nightmare to have a great crowd for the grand opening week with a lot of loose ends unresolved. To get a crowd, many stores get mailing lists of local charities to invite people to shop for fundraising (X% of sales in the first week or first night go to the charity). Naked actresses can also be hired. There’s no reason to exclude any members of the community.

David Livingston
Guest
15 years 4 months ago

I like Mark Lilien’s approach with the soft opening. You need a week or so to work out the kinks. Wegmans, I’ve heard, will sometimes open the pharmacy before the rest of store. Meijer will get their fuel center in the parking lot opened first, making sure they have the lowest price on gas. I’ve heard of some stores sending out a DVD video tour of their store to every household in their trade area. One thing I don’t like is making a grand opening a political statement by having politicians grandstand at the opening.

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