Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Clever Tchibo Concept

The German-owned Tchibo (pronounced something like chee-bo) stores in Vienna (and throughout much of Europe) have the most amazing retail concept. On busy shopping streets there is a Tchibo or Eduscho store (they sell the same things) about every two blocks and they all seem to be thriving. They must be doing something right because they are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year and the Viennese seem to love them. They are fundamentally coffee stores where you can select whatever blend you want and have it ground right there. OK, so that part is maybe not so amazing.

Every Thursday you’ll see a crowd of people huddled around the Tchibo store windows. That’s because every Thursday the store has very different merchandise tied to a new theme. One week you’ll find kid’s clothing, another week decorative items for the house with, say a Tahitian flair, another will have Italian cooking apparatus, or ski clothes, or picnic ware, or jewelry, or gardening supplies, or cute cleaning supplies or just about anything. It becomes a different store every week.

If you see something you like you don’t have much time to think about whether you really need it because next week it will be gone. Gone with no rainchecks, no back orders, no nothing. Gone. But don’t worry, next week there will be something different you can’t live without. Tchibo’s stuff—and their windows—are as addictive as their coffee.

This Tchibo store is in the 70s block of Landstrasser Hauptstrasse:

And another is just three and a half blocks away on the same street.

And this Eduscho, which sells the same things, is one and a half blocks from the last one on the same street.

All three stores are within six blocks, all are on the same side of the street and all seem to be doing a booming business. In this economy, that’s amazing.

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