Posts tagged NYC

Love this. 

Love this. 

Random (print) Ad Machine—NYC Subway Genius

This random ad machine is dedicated to Subway ads that we love, that is, for those of us lucky to live in this great city.  

From Manhattan Storage. Talk about knowing your audience.  

Probably my favorite—-this is for 

Not sure what to make of this one…

Now, this last link has nothing to do with ads—-but its funny…so here’s a link to things you would only ever see on a NYC subway.  (god I love NYC)  

—Happy Friday everyone

Ben Malki

Friday Quick Thoughts: Big Box Bodegas

Wal-Mart last week told the world they were hitchin’ their britches, dusting off their skinny jeans, and taking their talents to New York City.  Well, I should say, they’re announcing again, that they’re eyeing New York, since they’ve you know, said the same thing over, and over, and over, and over again.  There’s just something about this city that they’re obsessed with, even moving their office to Times Square a few years ago (which makes sense, seeing as they’re from Arkansas). 

So why can’t Wal-Mart do it? Why can’t they crack NY?  I mean, this is the big bad retailer of them all, dominant in markets throughout the world, so powerful they made Bentonville, Arkansas kinda, sorta, relevant.  

While there are a lot of reasons why Wal-Mart just can’t make it here, the obvious one is space.  Manhattan isn’t exactly overflowing with available megastore locations, and even if they did find the available square footage for a regular store (they won’t) it would cost them an arm and a leg.  

Additionally, the shopping habits of New Yorkers are the exact opposite of the traditional Wal-mart customer.  Tiny New York apartments are hardly ideal for storing an entire shipping crate of pert plus, nor is riding the 6 train with a lifetime supply of Jiff an easy task.   So in response they’ve decided to enter the market with 15-20,000 sq. foot “Marketside” concept stores, essentially big box Bodegas.  

But those are issues that smart retailers can overcome, and Wal-Mart has shown an ability to adapt in the past.  So judging by their history of starts and stops when it comes to entering the New York market, something else has to be at play here.  Could it be that their brand issues that continue to doom Wal-Mart NYC?  

With a brand that goes from rollback prices , to the people of Wal-Mart (dot com) the big retailer doesn’t have the best image in  New York.  Because they made their name and fortune by dominating rural markets, fair or not Wal-Mart has come to represent that rural, anti urban feeling that you can only truly appreciate in one of their stores.  Don’t believe me? Go  to the Wal-mart in Glendale, AZ? (the illustrious home of our grad school) and you’ll see.  As awful as it is to write (lest my urban elitist bias shine through), WalMart smartly (for the rest of the country) branded themselves as well,  country.  It worked like a charm everywhere else, but you know what doesn’t work in NY? The following ad.   


And this is exactly the problem.  What works in other places, doesn’t work in the New York.  The best evidence of this is that Walmart’s biggest competitor, Target (french pronunciation only please) has several stores in and around the city while walmart has been struggling for years to simply open one store.   

And where would they even open one? Based on the country perception New Yorkers have about them, you can probably count out anyone from canal street to the upper west side in Manhattan jumping at the opportunity to shop there. The Hipsters in Brooklyn are too cool (of course), and that leaves the poorer neighborhoods in outer Brooklyn and the Bronx where transportation and space will continue to be obstacles, but not as much as the rest of the city, representing their best chance to grab a foothold in New York. 

Whether Wal-Mart can  pull it off remains to be seen obviously, and judging by their “history” or lack thereof, things don’t look too promising.  

By Ben Malki