Store of Knowledge Joins WETA in Retail Effort
Abrahms, Doug, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Washington's largest public television station plans to open a retail store in Arlington tomorrow that one executive described as a Zany Brainy for adults.
WETA, which owns both a radio and television station, has joined with the Los Angeles-based Store of Knowledge chain to open a retail outlet in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The WETA Store of Knowledge hopes to appeal to WETA's highbrow audience with some 5,000 items, including software, cookbooks written by Public Broadcasting Service chefs, telescopes and a special section dedicated to selling public-television programs on videotape.
Arlington-based WETA joins a host of other media entities - including Walt Disney Co. and Discovery Communications Inc. - that have opened retail outlets to help promote their television shows.
"The biggest issue for us is promotion and brand extension - it puts us, hopefully, in more than one mall in Washington," said Lin Lloyd, WETA's executive vice president.
WETA, a nonprofit organization, hopes to open up to five stores in the area in the next two years. The stores will feature an "eclectic" mix of goods and will be like a Zany Brainy for junior high kids to adults, Mr. Lin said.
WETA is not contributing any money to the venture but will promote the store on its radio and television programs and in its membership magazine, which is mailed to more than 140,000 local members. The Store of Knowledge chain will operate the Arlington store, while WETA receives a 15 percent stake in the operation.
WETA will receive 1 percent of the store's gross sales - a typical Store of Knowledge sells $2 million a year, said Jennifer Fischer, a company spokeswoman.
Store of Knowledge owns 32 stores nationwide, all in partnership with public-broadcasting stations, she said. …