BrandEx 2020: Peter Schmidt Group shows how discounters can build retail success with chaos instead of consistency

On 14 January 2020, the International Festival of Brand Experience will once again take place in Dortmund. Under the motto ‘Passion’, more than 80 national and international speakers will present concepts and methods that can make brands an unforgettable experience. Steven Cichon, Director Brand Spaces of the brand and design agency Peter Schmidt Group, will be there. In his lecture ‘Don Don Donki: Retail Success with Chaos instead of Consistency’ he will introduce to his audience a retail chain that breaks all the rules and still wins the hearts of customers.

Department stores are becoming more and more interchangeable and losing their radiance. At the same time, local retailers are complaining about Amazon and the customers' enjoyment of online shopping. The proposed solution has been more customer service and a stronger link to digital experiences. But will that really bring customers back into retail stores? The Japanese department store chain Don Don Donki (aka "Don Quijote") questions all the usual conventions by giving shoppers an experience that is unique among discount stores. It turns brand chaos into a strategy, displaying back scratchers next to tomatoes – and attracts customers to the cash registers even at midnight.

"Imagine you're reading a travel blog, and you're being told a discount store is a super experience. For German ears, it sounds kind of absurd. Yet in Japan, the Don Don Donki chain is mentioned regularly in travel blogs. The time has come to question our understanding of a consistent brand experience," says Steven Cichon, Director Brand Spaces at the brand and design agency Peter Schmidt Group.

Speaking at 2 p.m. in the BrandEX Keynote Lounge 2, Cichon will show how and why the department store chain has gained cult status – and what European companies can learn from it.

The BrandEX lectures and workshops will take place on nine stages in Hall 3 of Messe Dortmund. Information about the program and tickets can be found here: www.brand-ex.org