In large retail stores like Bloomingdales, they commonly have sections within a floor, that contain sales representatives that work directly for the manufacturer. For example, a Ralph Lauren representative works in their section, and is indirectly motivated by Bloomingdales, but is directly motivated by their sales manufacturer, Ralph Lauren. This happens with many retail manufacturers, from cutlery to clothing. Retail manufacturers ae embedded in the retail stores, and speaking with a manager of one of these retail departments, it seems to work. The representative didn’t report directly to the store manager, it was more like a matrix management, but they were aligned to the manufacturer and the manager stated in some good years, these manufacturing sales representatives did extremely well financially.
So, does this model work? It sure seems like it. When I was at the 2013 CES show this year, I saw several amazing booths, including the Samsung booth. It’s style was amazing, and the layout was beautiful. In retail outlets like the Bloomingdales example I mentioned, the manufacturer representative has a certain amount of design and layout abilities, so long as it fits in with the store main style guidelines. This is a perfect opportunity for Samsung and Best Buy to make the concept wildly successful, and they are betting big. When I go into electronics stores, the sales representatives are not typically motivated one way or the other by which product to motivate the consumer. I was in Target, where there ws one sales representative / manager that handled all of the carriers, as well as all of the handset models. What if these carriers, and/or manufacturers were parsed off, botiques were created, and sales representatives were now incentised by the manufacturers, their layouts may conform to their corporate standards, and they were additionally monetarily incentized by their sales.
We could be in unique situation for an uptick in Brick and Mortar retail sales.