NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–While historical declines in US retail sales were reported by the Commerce Department last week, investors in the scent marketing industry welcomed the news as record numbers of retailers increasingly turn to alternative methods of merchandising to boost sales.
According to Harald Vogt, Founder of the Scent Marketing Institute, industry executives are reporting a rush of new inquiries from major retailers from every corner of the retail spectrum. His view is that this activity is directly correlated to the sagging economy, and that retailers and mall operators are gearing up for a competitive holiday shopping season.
Companies already using scent to enhance sales include Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Jimmy Choo, Lane Bryant, Hallmark, Guess? and Abercrombie & Fitch, while a wider variety of specialty retailers are adopting scent strategies. The hardest hit auto industry has also started using scent to attract customers. Some Lexus and Toyota dealerships are using the tactic, and General Motors has rolled out a signature scent for their dealerships, according to Citron Arbel, CEO of Air Aroma America.
“Strategic scents have been proven to increase the shopper’s dwelling time by as much as 40 percent in a retail environment,” affirms C. Russell Brumfield, author of Whiff! The Revolution of Scent Communication in the Information Age. The book reveals dozens of studies conducted on the effects of scent on the consumer. “The science shows that specific scents can increase sales from 20 to over 90 percent in some studies,” states Brumfield. “Since the economy started to tail-spin in recent months, we’ve heard from some very big companies wanting to adopt scent strategies”
Savvy investors have also jumped into the scent marketing game. The Whiff! book covers the biggest industry players. Richard Weening, co-founder and former chairman of Cumulus Media (the nation’s second largest radio station owner) now runs one of the biggest scent marketing companies called Prolitec. Alerion Partners has invested millions in Charlotte-based ScentAir, where digital-media venture capitalist Tom Conroy took the reigns as CEO in June.
Australia-based Air Aroma has distributors in 35 countries. DMX has added strategic scent marketing to its in-store music business, and UK-based $5-billion Rentokil rolled out its newly branded Ambius subsidiary in the US and Europe earlier this year. Private research firms predict that this fledgling market will soar into billions in revenues in the coming years.
Whiff! book author Brumfield sees a golden opportunity for skittish investors in this uncertain economy. Brumfield adds, “Along with real estate, when you see blood on the streets, buy stock in the next big marketing phenomenon—scent.”
Whiff! book author Russell Brumfield is frequently cited source in print and broadcast stories on the scent marketing industry, strategies, and case studies. For more information about the scent marketing industry and scent news, visit http://www.askthewhiffguys.com . The book Whiff! The Revolution of Scent Communication in the Information Age is available at http://www.amazon.com.
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