Will comics, movies and music take tween retailer Justice to new heights?
Of its many strategic moves, turning itself into a film and media production studio is one of Amazon’s biggest successes. Now, a niche brick-and-mortar apparel chain seems to be taking a similar tack as it gets in on the entertainment game.
Tween girl’s apparel retailer Justice is launching an entertainment division called Justice Studios, according to a press release. The new entertainment arm of the company plans to create graphic novels, video series, music, documentaries and more — content all in line with the brand’s stated values of girl empowerment. The retailer is collaborating with production company Elevate Pictures to develop the content. Upcoming projects include a graphic novel series called Ultra Squad and a feature-length documentary about dancers in the Nutcracker (repurposed from the web series, Finding Clara).
Justice is owned by Tween Brands (formerly Limited Too), which is a subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group. The chain operates around 800 stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, according to its website.
While creating entertainment media may be its most drastic move this year, the chain has also taken other steps to drive home its identity as an empowering force for girls between the ages of six and 12. In September, for instance, the retailer celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of its Club Justice loyalty program. In conjunction with six weeks of special events and deals pegged to Club Justice’s birthday, the chain announced the launch of its “Come Together” campaign, which promotes goal setting, kindness and inclusiveness among members of its target demographic.
Justice is not the only brick-and-mortar retail brand to try its hand at creating branded entertainment properties recently.
In 2016, Starbucks launched an animated series called 1st & Main on YouTube. The web cartoon is set in a Starbucks coffee shop staffed and visited by anthropomorphic animals representing Millennial tropes. At present there are eight webisodes on the Starbucks YouTube page with a few hundred-thousand views per video. The most recent episode was added in February of 2017.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Can a niche brick-and-mortar retailer like Justice succeed with its own entertainment enterprise? How might Justice weave its entertainment products into its brick-and-mortar stores to generate customer interest?