Poor Staffing: Two days after Christmas, the photo department at a major drug chain is three rows of people deep in traffic. A customer wants to buy a Calvin Klein fragrance gift set (and the industry surely needs customers like that) while he picks up his holiday photos. He waits 10 minutes and gives up — chucking the gift kit onto an end of aisle display. Another shopper has New Year’s cards on order so she waits and waits. While the employees are apologetic, the department is just too busy for the amount of people on hand. Two trips to the store found similar backups at the photo lab, so it wasn’t an isolated incident. Chains need to know how to have proper staffing so not to infuriate customers who actually want to spend.
Ridiculous Return Policies: A young girl wants to return one of her holiday gifts to a major mall-based specialty store. She has the original gift receipt and the tags are all on the garment. She is told she needs an adult to do the swap. And, once the adult comes to the checkout, the consumer (mom in this case) is required to show her license and give an explicit reason for the return. Sure returns are problematic, but this was a total turnoff to the store. Unfortunately, the daughter is addicted to the casualwear at the retailer so the mom will be stuck shopping there — like it or not.
Messy Displays: Testers are still a new concept at mass and while opening up sales doors, they also snap some shut. Too often consumers smear, steal and abuse the testers leaving the department in disarray. Such was the case at a major discount store and a mid-tier retailer with major beauty departments. Somehow there needs to be housekeeping built into the beauty department to spruce up these areas or all the advancements mass has made will go out the window.
It isn’t always easy to have the right associates and there are times when stores aren’t up to snuff when it comes to housekeeping. But in these tough retail times, merchants have to do all they can to go just a little bit farther to make shoppers happy they came to that store over a competitor. This is especially the case in beauty where many retailers and even channels these days are selling the same or equivalent merchandise. With drugstores, there is often a chain on every corner. You have to make it worth consumers’ time and effort to turn into your store.
A few words with Ted Gibson, the New York-based celebrity hairstylist who is the latest to develop an exclusive line for Target. Gibson charges $950 for a haircut, but his brand will soon be available in 700 Target doors at prices ranging from $22.99 to $24.99. Ted Gibson: My customer is black, white and Asian. She is 25 to 55 years old. She travels. She shops. She lives in cities [all over the country]. This will give her the opportunity to buy [Ted Gibson] where she goes and shops all the time.
Gibson: They [specialty stores] have been great. They have put me on the map. They believed in my two [initial] products three years ago. I am grateful for the relationships. But to grow, I went to Target. I want to be a household name. That’s the future of the business.
What’s In Store
Olum Departs Sephora: Betsy Olum, senior vice president of marketing at Sephora USA, has decided to take a break after spending 10 years at the specialty store chain.
Michelle Obama’s Eyebrows: Obama’s makeup artist toned down the arch in her eyebrows after negative comments and a softer, kinder eyebrow made the scene at the Inauguration this week.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye