Nygard’s Times Square street smarts

Canadian-born brand opens flagship store in Times Square with street-level marketing strategy behind it.

Canadians may be known for being low-key, but that’s not a label one would apply to Nygard International’s new flagship store in New York City’s Times Square.

The flashy new retail environment has its grand opening tomorrow, Nov. 6, in the midst of what is likely the busiest intersection in North America. The store itself is an innovative media venture, and Nygard has taken an equally innovative approach to building buzz before the grand opening.

‘Broadway has become a place for people and an entertainment form in and of itself,’ Peter Nygard, founder and chairman, Nygard International, explained to MiC. ‘So we’ve taken our fashion shows and fashion promotions onto Broadway and we are entertaining the crowds in the same way that other [entertainment companies] are. We’re creating a huge sensation with the models right there in Times Square: beautiful fashion models, 30 of them…and we have photographers and videographers doing a live broadcast shoot. It’s like making a movie!’

The footage of the stunts has been transformed by Nygard’s in-house production studio to videos that will be an integral part of the in-store experience. In addition to the specially-developed LED blue lighting for the store’s interior and exterior, the store itself will be a media hub of video screens promoting Nygard products, special events and runway shows. The crown jewels of the strategy are two giant 14′ x 7′ screens, one at the back of the store and one in the window of the adjacent Nygard headquarters, displaying all the glam Nygard has to offer.

The on-street approach to promoting the store is a departure from three years ago, when Nygard did a huge OOH media buy in Times Square around New Year’s Eve to promote the brand. This time, the marketing strategy includes just one media buy in local commuter paper Metro, and the rest is guerilla-style, with ‘live mannequin street teams’ and flyer campaigns, a strategy that integrates seamlessly with the in-store media initiatives.

‘This store really represents the latest concepts in terms of how to excite the customer and get her back in [the store] having fun and buying goods,’ Nygard told MiC. ‘It’s a new way of retailing; here is really the way retailing is going to be done 10 years from now.’