Published on: December 9, 2013by Kevin Coupe
Interesting approach by the AMC Entertainment theatre chain, which is in the process of an initial public offering (IPO) from which it hopes to be able to use profits to improve its moviegoing experience (plusher seats, better food and beverages). Instead of just going the traditional route, AMC also is going to its most loyal customers - the 2.5 million members of its Stubs affinity program, who pay $12 a year for the privilege, getting a $10 credit for every $100 spent - and offering them the opportunity to buy shares without broker fees.
In an email to Stubs members, AMC CEO Gerry Lopez wrote that the company is "reserving a number of shares in our initial public stock offering (IPO) for you, our most loyal customers, to reserve on a first-come, first-serve basis. The price per share will be determined by negotiations between us and the underwriters of the IPO, but it will be the same price per share as offered to Wall Street investors.
"We will also give you the same 24-hour head start our employees will receive, in order to ensure you have the earliest opportunity to reserve shares at the offering price. While many companies depend on their customers' support every day, those customers don't always get the chance to own a piece of the action at the same price as Wall Street investors. We're offering this exclusive employee benefit to our AMC Stubs members to express our sincere gratitude for your loyalty."
Lopez goes on to write that "AMC has always been at the forefront of innovation in our industry. We pioneered many important movie-going experiences, like the multiplex theatre format and stadium seating. More recently, we have introduced Dine-In Theatres, recliner renovations, The Marketplace concession stands and MacGuffins bars, not to mention IMAX®, ETX and 3D-capable digital projection. We will continue to innovate in the future, and offering our IPO in this manner, through this platform, is but one of the many ways we nurture that innovative spirit."
AMC was acquired last year for $2.6 billion by China-based theatre operator Dalian Wanda Group.
I think this is a pretty interesting approach; I'm a Stubs member, and it certainly caught my eye when I got the email.
I'm not sure I'll actually invest, but if I were to do so, it would give me a greater investment in the chain and make it even more likely that I would seek out its theaters rather than another chain's. It is all about connections … and an understand that AMC clearly has that businesses have to find ways to forge and solidify those connections whenever and wherever possible.
AMC's approach is an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: