New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Eye Candy

Business moves in mysterious ways and there come times when forces seem to point one way. Right now, for many retailers, the merchandising road is pointing to Time's Square, an area beleaguered and blighted for eons, improving in fits and starts, but always drawn back to some variant, displaying elements of its historic sleazy character. Rents are high and even well heeled retailers during its recent improvement phase have closed: witness the closings of the Disney and Warner Brothers stores.
I have written about the M&Ms Store at Times Square - see Branding Gone Wild and Let's Have a Parade. Literally across the street at 48th and Broadway is competitor Hershey with their own shrine to chocolate. This store is a much bigger experience on the outside - many visitors have been nonplussed by the inside. But, the small one floor interior space is certainly a place to get your Hershey's chocolate fix and sample their extensive line. See my photos of the interior here. Unlike the much larger themed M&Ms store, however, it is not a total immersion experience or world.
The thing to see here is the exterior, purportedly the largest permanent fixture ever built in Times Square. From their opening press release October 28, 2002:

HERSHEY'S spectacular -- towering 215 ft. tall and 60 ft. wide, making it the largest permanent fixture ever constructed in Times Square -- features a whimsical version of the original HERSHEY'S chocolate factory, complete with smokestacks, just like the one in Milton Hershey's hometown, Hershey, PA. Thanks to 34 dimensional props, four steam machines, over 4,000 chasing lights, 30 programmable gel lights, 56 neon channel letters, 14 front-lit signs, and just about every other major signage technique utilized today, the chocolate factory spectacular will:

Feature an
over sized HERSHEY(R)'S milk chocolate bar
Light up a pyramid of HERSHEY(R)'S KISSES(R) with colors that change with the seasons
Showcase a JOLLY RANCHER(R) candy wind sculpture
Spout steam from the HERSHEY(R)'S cocoa cup
Spin BREATH SAVERS(R) mints above the sidewalks of New York

The Hershey Company is no longer just the chocolate company of Milton Snavely Hershey, who in 1907 created the Hershey's Kiss. Read their history here. They now manufacture a myriad of chocolate and non-chocolate confections including: Reese's, Milk Duds, Kit Kat, Krackel, Rolo, Skor, Cadbury's, Almond Joy, Mounds, O'Henry, Mr. Goodbar, York Peppermint Pattie, Jolly Rancher, PayDay, Ice Breakers, Good and Plenty and Twizzlers.
I would not make the store a travel destination, but if you are visiting Times Square, take a look above you at 1593 Broadway at what (like M&M's display across the street) is literally Eye Candy ...