Posted by Barry Silverstein on September 17, 2012 02:33 PM
The perceived slump in sales of luxury goods has top fashion brands considering all sorts of strategies to pump up consumer engagement.
Burberry has just transformed its London flagship store into a digitally-enhanced shopping experience that brings to life its Burberry World online store, following on the heels of Audi's flagship Audi City digital retail experience in London. This may be just the beginning of a trend to re-engineer the traditional retail store environment so that it entices and excites consumers who would otherwise choose online shopping.
Indeed, fashion brands are more committed to sales on the retail floor than one might think. Brands including Coach, Crocs, and Tumi are planning to open more stores of their own, but they haven't given up on the department store, either. At last week's Reuters Retail and Consumer Summit, Richard Dickson, CEO of branded businesses at Jones Group, stated that "We believe in the department store. Department stores have done a brilliant job continuing to energize and re-invent themselves in order to stay relevant."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 15, 2012 10:56 AM
Esprit has been trying to engineer a turnaround, last year announcing a $2.3 billion, four-year plan and hiring supermodel Gisele Bundchen as the Hong Kong-based brand's global face. Despite a minor uptick in sales as a result, the turnaround hasn't been dramatic — and company announced this week that CEO Ronald Van der Vis was quitting, making him the second top exec (following the chairman) to walk out in the last six months.
Bloomberg reports that Esprit Holding’s stock took a nosedive after the news. "The unexpected resignation is a serious blow to the company's transformation plan and will cast doubt on the execution," said Andrew Sullivan, principal trader at Piper Jaffray Asia Securities, to Bloomberg. "Investors may fear that his stepping down will bring the transformation efforts back to square one."
Van der Vis said on a conference call that he’ll remain in his post for 12 more months, and that he's stepping down for family reasons and not because of any dispute with the board. No strategic changes are planned to Esprit’s transformation program, he added, although some “adjustments” are possible during the transition.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 20, 2012 02:55 PM
Traditional retail brands are increasingly looking to e-commerce start-ups for innovation, wedding their physical distribution and resource abundance with nimble, digital sales. Walgreen’s acquisition of Drugstore.com and Walmart's purchase of Kosmix are two high-profile examples. “These guys are usually slow and lumbering giants,” said Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru to the New York Times. “But they need to make proactive investments. Because, left to their own devices, they could never emulate these businesses.”
Add Nordstrom to the list of startup-hungry retailers. The Seattle-based upmarket store brand made few acquisitions in its 111-year-old history before last year, when it acquired ‘flash sales’ site HauteLook and became a lead investor in shoe subscription service Sole Society, a spin-off of HauteLook. This month Nordstrom acquired a stake in socially savvy e-tailer Bonobos in a deal that gives the latter $16.4 million in cash and access to more than 100 Nordstrom stores, while the latter can tap into the Bonobos team's expertise on branding and digital marketing with humor and savvy.
Just how deft is the Bonobos brand when it comes to tapping the zeitgeist? For Earth Day, the menswear e-tailer has created a line of denim made from beer bottles. That's right. Recycled. Beer. Bottles.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 16, 2011 03:05 PM
Those clucking about Wal-Mart’s woes may want to pay attention this month as American parents participate in the real reason they call it “the dog days of August”: the back-to-school spending binge. A new survey says that parents prefer Wal-Mart by more than two to one over the next closest retailer, Target.
So, despite recent uncertainty about its fundamental pricing and merchandising strategy, Wal-Mart is still perceived as the place to go for bargains on mundane stuff like backpacks, jeans and folders. The chain may have lost its edge, at least temporarily, as Americans’ default choice for “the lowest prices,” but its reputation for comprehensive selection clearly is offsetting that.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 12, 2011 10:00 AM
Love jeans with that relaxed, sandblasted look? You’re going to have to find a different brand than Gianni Versace.
The Italian design house has now joined Gucci and H&M (for which Versace is producing a collection this fall) by banning the practice after much outrage and lobbying by the Clean Clothes Campaign.
To get that look, “workers fire sand under high pressure at jeans” (according to the Courier Post Online), a practice that has led to the deaths of workers in Turkey, Bangladesh, “and other countries” where the process is done manually, the site reports. What's more, sandblasting leaves “large amounts of silica dust” in the air for workers to breathe. It can cause silicosis, a pulmonary disease that can be a killer.
Those things probably aren’t the first things on the mind of a consumer when he or she is buying Versace. And now they don’t need to be.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 5, 2011 05:00 PM
Walgreens’ New York-centric Duane Reade division is throwing a red carpet opening tonight for its flagship store on Wall Street. That's right — a VIP bash to celebrate opening a new drugstore in a city that has one (it seems) on every other corner.
Duane Reade, which has been remodeling its stores, has been putting on a show to promote its new locations, including Broadway-style dancers and tuxedoed street teams. But this opening will top them all.
The 22,000-sq.-ft. new location will be open 24/7, in The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street, an iconic address that once upon a time was a bank hall known as the "Crown Jewel of Wall Street" and touted as the tallest building in the world.
40 Wall Street, which opens its doors to the public at 7am on Wednesday, is the chain’s most ambitious, glittering and elaborate store to date, geared to its moneyed, rushed, picky and well-heeled neighborhood clientele.
The elite amenities on offer certainly 'Trump' DR's other Manhattan locations to date.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on June 8, 2011 12:00 PM
June will be a big month for retailer Target, and today, one of the brand's bigger June days. It's the retailer's annual shareholders meeting and also the day after a pension fund trustee representing 1 million shares of Target stock wrote an open letter to New York City's comptroller asking him to "consider withholding votes from relevant Target Corp. directors, in the absence of a change in policy on political spending."
Elsewhere in New York, Target has become the national focus of the next chapter between corporations and organized labor. It's a union battle that Target loses, even if it wins.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 10, 2011 02:00 PM
Popularizing electric vehicles is requiring a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, because American consumers still aren’t quite sure about tiny cars that only operate on batteries and run out of juice after just 50 or 75 miles — no matter where you are.
Increasingly, more of that fresh thinking is coming from outside the auto industry. Electric utilities, real estate developers and others are experimenting, for instance, with how to dot enough charging stations around a metro area to create electricity availability that would make EV purchasers comfortable about “range anxiety.”
Now, Best Buy is contemplating selling EVs at its 1,100 stores across the US. It's not a huge stretch for the Minneapolis-based consumer-electronics retailer, as it already sells electric motorcycles.Continue reading...