app watch

Digital Watch: De Beers App Makes Diamonds a Retailer's Best Friend

Posted by Barry Silverstein on April 26, 2012 03:03 PM

Long associated with engagement and wedding rings, diamonds may be a girl's best friend. But De Beers, the brand name most closely associated with the coveted stone, aims to make diamonds a retailer's best friend too, with its new iPhone/iPad app.

The De Beers Bridal App allows consumers to review a complete collection of wedding day jewelry, choose an engagement ring and matching wedding band, view videos to get expert information on how to choose diamonds, and go behind the scenes of De Beers' diamond selection, design, and craftsmanship. Leveraging the power of social media, the app encourages the consumer to select their favorites and share them with friends. The consumer can also sign up to receive emails from De Beers.

In a nice touch that will keep retailers happy, the app also offers up the retail locations closest to the user who sell De Beers jewelry and enables the consumer to make an appointment as well as locate the retailer on a map. While the consumer can "arrange a viewing" on the De Beers website, store locations are limited to a few major retailers in key cities.Continue reading...


Urban Outfitters Says "I Do" to Bridal Expansion

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 14, 2012 10:11 AM

One of the first things Ted Marlow is getting to do as the new CEO of Urban Outfitters is spend some time thinking about brides. The Philadelphia-based apparel retailer started selling wedding clothes online a year ago — on Valentine's Day 2011 — and opened its first bridal shop, called BHLDN, last summer in Houston.

Now, the Chicago Tribune reports, it has just opened a second BHLDN store, in the Windy City, and it “resembles a 19th century European townhouse with 15-foot ceilings, grand windows and a spiral staircase with wood risers and travertine treads."

If this all sounds way old-school, don't forget the Urban Outfitters sensibility (meaning BHLDN's bridal fashions are bohemian and vintage-inspired) and target demographic (hip women in the 20's and 30's). Its second bridal store embodies that slightly rebellious, hip chic, including iPod docking stations in the dressing rooms so shoppers can listen to their own tunes while decking themselves out in bridesmaid dresses and wedding gowns.

Is building out a bridal business, as a separate brand no less, a smart move? The Trib points out that the retailer isn’t alone in saying "I do" to the concept.

“J.Crew was among the first chain stores to spot an opportunity to sell bridesmaid dresses, introducing its collection online in 2004 and opening its first free-standing bridal boutique in 2009 in Manhattan.” Ann Taylor, White House/Black Market, Nordstrom, Costco, and Target are other U.S. retailers who have made similar efforts.

Marlow, who spent nine years as brand president of Urban Outfitters, left the company in 2010, but took his place behind the big desk on Feb. 6th after former CEO Glen Senk resigned to take over the same role with David Yurman.

“This is a blast from the past that is giving investors hope that prior management that was successful will bring success back,” Randal Konik, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg. “In our view there are still challenges from slowing growth and rising competition.”

Outfitters, Inc., the parent company of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, among others, had a 9% increase in net sales to $731 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, Reuters reports.

brand extensions

We Will Soon Pay Extra For Products Free Of Disney Branding

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 20, 2011 06:00 PM

The world of Disney brand extensions are a little like the US federal budget. Every year it grows and grows and becomes an increasingly impossible thing to keep track of with nobody remembering why certain additions were made and almost no hope in sight of a contraction.

Two recent announcements only add the the expanding amount of Disney-branded merchandise available to our nation's children, both the child and adult variety.Continue reading...

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