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« Why Buy Tickets For Your Own Event? | Main | Don’t Pollute Your Web Site with Advertising »

The Stew Leonard’s & Wegmans Experience

Stew_Leonards Last Friday, I had an opportunity to visit Stew Leonard’s in Norwalk, Connecticut.  My good friend Peter Buniak had been egging me on for weeks about Stew Leonard’s, “Eugene, Stew Leonard’s might be better than Wegmans!”

Unique grocery stores hold a special place in my heart. For those that don’t know, I’m a really big fan of WegmansWegmans is a grocery story headquartered in Rochester, New York.  Having grown up in Rochester, Wegmans was where my family did their grocery shopping. In my opinion Wegmans takes the grocery shopping experience to a whole new level, especially on the customer service front.  It’s a tourist stop for people with friends and family visiting Rochester. I was excited and intrigued about visiting Stew Leonard’s. Everything at Stew Leonard's and Wegmans is done specifically by design. Do you do the same with your event or business?

Selling Ice Cream During the Winter Time
As you’re walking into the Norwalk Stew Leonard’s there is an ice cream shop at the entrance.  I’m a bit of an ice cream and milkshake snob. My first job was scooping ice cream.  As most people would assume, selling ice cream during winter is a pretty difficult task. It was a cold winter day when I walked into Stew Leonard’s.  Ironically there was a big line up for ice cream.  The strategically placed Santa Claus (complete with real beard) was no doubt helpful in selling ice cream. Yet, in my 3 years of scooping ice cream I never witnessed anything like that during the winter time.  The ice cream store is setup for parents with children or the kid in all of us. When you get into the store there were a disproportionately high number of kids with ice cream.  The kids happily lapped up their ice cream as parents shopped. What does winter ice cream have to do with your business or event?  A lot . . .

Turn Your Event Into an Experience
I’m always big on encouraging event organizers to turn their events into an experience.  If you’re looking for two really great examples, you don’t have to go any further than Wegmans and Stew Leonard’s. Both companies are like the Disney World of grocery shopping.  Between both companies there are enough great business and event promotion examples from both stores to fill an entire book. If you’re ever in the Connecticut or Yonkers, New York area, be sure to make a trip to Stew Leonard’s. The same goes for Wegmans. When visiting look carefully at what is going on around you. There is at least one great idea for your business or event just waiting to be discovered.

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