Shopping and Broadway sitting in a tree.

I was strolling through Saks on a weak weekend for Broadway tickets recently, and I noticed something interesting . . . there was hardly anyone in the store shopping for clothes, just like there weren’t that many people shopping for tickets either.

Makes sense, of course . . . those big retail NYC flagships like Saks, Bloomies, Macy’s, and more are major tourist magnets . . . just like, you guessed it, big ol’ Broadway.  In fact, we made some calls to some press reps of the stores above, and found out that about 25% of the business at a place like Saks comes from tourists outside the Tri-State Area.  Sure, that’s not the 62% that Broadway attracts, but it’s still a significant amount, and it’s still a significant overlap of the Broadway audience, don’t you think?

And with that kind of overlap it seems that a marriage (or even just some heavy petting) between Broadway and Retail would be beneficial for both parties.

Yes, I’m talking promotions of all kinds (discount ticket with Saks receipt, special gift at Saks with ticket stub, appearances at the stores, etc.) but I’m also talking about simple strategizing.  See, the stores have significant amounts of data at their fingertips . . . which weeks of the year are the busiest, how consumers are spending, etc.

And you know the other thing that Broadway and Retail have in common?  Well, shopping in a store is being challenged by shopping online . . .

I don’t think I need to tell you how we’re challenged by online entertainment . . . especially since you’re reading a blog right now.

So maybe finding a way to hold hands and date other industries is a way we make sure we don’t end up a dated industry ourselves.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



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  • Amy Leigh says:

    Between things like Redbox and movie ticket kiosks in malls and high traffic area, why is the box office or TKTS the few options there are for immediate ticket buying? Several Broadway kiosks (with no employees, Hey Cheap!) with printable tickets might help push extra sales. Depending on how many are set up, that could be a lot a tickets.

  • janiska says:

    Sounds like the secret to offline retail sales is getting folks into the store. And for Broadway, getting folks to the theater.

    Broadway could help get folks to retail by having tickets for sale inside the stores. Why not?

    And there’s nothing better than the window and displays in Saks, etc. If not already, the displays could be about what’s on Broadway. And theaters could do the same cross advertising for the stores.

    Sounds like a win win. Somebody should DO IT! NOW and forever.

  • Gordon says:


    While it’s true that we compete for audience with online, the two are so radically different, the real challenge is to differentiate. We need to be better at communicating why theatre is a more satisfying experience (which I firmly believe is the case) than any screen-based entertainment.

    Theatre is analogous to the campfire, where people sat TOGETHER and heard a storyteller, or shaman, or priest, or whatever tell a good, compelling story with a message, etc., and then afterward, the community had had this common experience to share, and to frame their future experiences of each other, and the world.

    But, how to get that across, and to convince folks that we’re worth $100 a ticket… these are the big questions.

    Thanks for your great blog. Keep up the great work!

  • Margie says:

    Brilliant idea Ken, And why not put the logo of your next play on their shopping bags? GREAT advertising!

  • Steve says:

    Dear Ken: You do a superb job on this blog. it’s full of original content and a lot of it. Do you do all your own writing? If so, high output. Anyway. Thanks for the info you provide on this site.
    Steve Kayser

  • Ron Kustina says:

    Dear Ken: I want you to know that Macys has done this in the past . My wife and I have seen five shows with a purchase of $150.00.or more.In the Heights was one of the shows. I am a real broadway veteran my very first show being West Side Story which was panned by our Philadelphia critic during its tryout.

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