Try shoes, Get Smartphone = Craziness

by Deepak Sharma on Sunday, October 31, 2010


Journeys which is owned by Genesco Inc (NYSE: GCO) has announced a promotion in which every customer who tries on a pair of shoes will be offered a free smartphone when they activate a qualifying new two year service plan plus monthly data feature. Customers will be able to choose from a wide variety of phones, including the latest BlackBerry® and Android-powered smartphones.

This comes on the heel of Teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc., looking to jump-start back-to-school denim sales, offered anyone who tries on a pair of jeans a free smart phone.

Now, I am unable to get why would a retailer come up with such a promotion. Without the carriers customizing these phones with Genesco/Journeys Apps/branding there is very little to win for Genesco here. Although carriers often offer discounts to independent resellers for new subscribers, I am sure Genesco would be paying some traffic acquisition cost to carriers for subsidizing its phone. Apart from making you look desperate, these promotions do little for you. There’s only one party that wins, customers who will throng to the stores just this time for the free phones.