Publication: Time

More Retailers Are Serving Booze to Boost Business

July 26, 2016

Urban Outfitters is putting bars in stores.

How can brick-and-mortar stores respond to stiff competition from online retailers? The answer, it seems, is to mix customers a stiff drink.

Retailers around the country are trying to draw in customers by installing bars in their stores, USA Today reported. Urban Outfitters, for instance, has three locations (in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Austin, Tex.) that feature several bars. The chain encourages customers to browse its offerings with a drink in hand. The Brooklyn Urban Outfitters, for instance, includes two bars, one on the roof and another on the third floor in the men’s department, as well as an Israeli barbecue restaurant.

Urban Outfitters isn’t the only retailer trying to lure in customers for happy hour. A Target store in Chicago with a Starbucks serves the coffee chain’s “evenings” menu with wine and beer. And Barnes & Noble will open a handful of stores in the fall that feature sit-down restaurants with table service, which will serve “shareable food and wine and beer,” according to Jaime Carey, president of development and restaurant group for the chain.

Retailers are employing a trick used by shopping malls and department stores, where the food court offered […]

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The Rise of Crazy, Premium, Snacks

April 16, 2013

You’re not crazy. The words premium and snack really are popping up on chain-restaurant menus everywhere. Crazy is making some appearances too. Why are these the latest restaurant buzzwords? And why are they supposed to resonate with customers? Let’s take a look. Crazy

Sensible food is boring. Fast-food fans — young ones especially — supposedly want something different, something a little, well, crazy. A Fortune post noted that crazy and similar terms have accordingly been showing up on chain-restaurant menus. Most obviously, there’s Pizza Hut’s new Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, which features 16 dough pockets stuffed with extra cheese around the pizza — a design that indeed seems pretty crazy. Why has crazy become the menu term du jour? “What’s happening is that the American palate has moved from boring to bold,” Nancy Brown, a partner at branding firm CBX, told Fortune. “I think crazy is what extreme was because extreme has kind of run its course.”

One of the fast-food players known for being “extreme” a few years back was Pizza Hut’s sister at Yum Brands, Taco Bell. The chain began offering items like the Extreme Cheese and Beef Quesadilla in the late ’00s. It has since moved on […]

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