My opinion on Zing Store in Paris
Over the last weeks, 6 Zing stores (Zing stands for “amazing”) have opened in France. Part of American video games retailer Game Stop, which owns Micromania chain in France, Zing targets “pop culture” fans. A customer base passionate about superhero and cult TV series characters who is supposed to be interested in buying a wide scope of licensed items. Before then, there was no brand that operated nationally on this market even though “pop culture” productions have skyrocketed over the recent years.
Let’s have a deeper look at the latest Zing store in Bercy Village open-air shopping mall in Paris.
- The 1,600 square feet store is efficiently laid out around a central aisle. Zing is packed with spin-off items but everything is tidy and easy to reach.
- To set the mood of their clients, the store is airing movies and TV music themes and showcase some famous characters like Iron Man as a decor.
- The wide range of products are displayed all around the store with a clear segmentation that is based on either the media they were first broadcasted, the name of their editors or their franchise.
- Some clothing items are available too in a separate corner.
- Figurines price range is between 15 to 2,000 euros but most of them are really affordable. This pricing policy is the main competitive advantage of the brand.
As Zing is obviously adressing a more diverse customer base than those of video games, the brand makes totally sense in the Game Stop portfolio and enriches French shopping mall retail mix as well.
In my opinion, Zing can be seen as a mini Disney store dedicated to pop culture characters. I felt there the same rational way to do business as in the famous Mickey Mouse retail chain. Anyway, I have the feeling that the customer experience could have been way more exciting. I would have expected more surprise and interactivity through immersive devices and 3D installations that would have taken advantage of the huge amount of visual contents related to the characters. In addition, I think that Zing should also feature 3D printers so that the visitors can buy unique and customized items, with their name on them for example. A more amazing environment in fact.
Zing stores may have been designed as a complementary retail network. Physical stores will help to raise brand awareness among the public and, in a more or less long run, engage people to shop online. Time will tell.
If you are, like me, passionate about retail and interested in other “embedded experiences”, click here.