Good Housekeeping Sets Up Shop in Mall of America

Good Housekeeping is taking its name to the mecca of all shopping centers, the Mall of America. The iconic women’s service monthly is transforming a 2,000 square-foot space into parts of rooms designed to represent an American home, complete with a fully equipped, working kitchen.

Only the magazine isn’t selling anything. The showroom, which will run throughout October 2011, is an extension of a multi-city tour of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute that the magazine staged last year. Each “room” in the Mall of America showroom will host activities that could include cooking demos, DYI projects, and design consultations by celebrity chefs, local personalities and experts from the Research Institute.

Such initiatives are on the rise as publishers realize that they need to touch consumers in ways outside the pages of the magazine.

As for Good Housekeeping, it realized that its famous seal of approval—given to consumer products that pass its rigorous testing—was well known, but that the work of its institute, a major differentiator from other women’s magazines, was not.

For its traveling exhibit, Good Housekeeping—which is published by Hearst Magazines—created a replica of the institute to spread awareness about how the institute tests consumer products that are vying for the seal.

The Mall of America showroom is meant to give consumers more chances to interact with the brand than the tour allowed.

“We wanted to showcase the Research Institute—and all of the brand touchpoints—in a unique way, while also providing consumers with even more interaction, activities, samples and taste testing,” said Renee Lewin, associate publisher of Good Housekeeping.  

The exhibit will be free to consumers, but Good Housekeeping is trying to secure advertising sponsors. Sponsors of the tour included Ikea, Bissell and Lubriderm, which also committed to buying pages in the magazine.