Theme stores are all the rage, and Viacom is the latest to jump on the merchandising success vehicle. Viacom Retail Group will be opening its first retail complex, called Viacom Entertainment Store, in Chicago on May 3. The store, located on Michigan Avenue, just down the street from Nike Town and the Sony theme store, will be a 30,000-square-foot, two-level complex featuring Viacom brands MTV, Nick at Nite, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Star Trek and VH1.
And like other theme stores, this one promises plenty of live events, merchandise and interactive experiences for customers to enjoy as they shop and explore the branded environment. Kids entering Nickelodeon’s ‘Hide-out Hut,’ for instance, will be able to use real periscopes to ‘spy’ on other areas of the store. Visitors can be ‘beamed up’ from the Starship Enterprise (their images are reflected into sci-fi environments via blue screen technology, and photographed for them to take home). Artifacts and memorabilia from various Viacom brands will also be on display for visitors to see.
Future expansions are planned for New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco.