Nordstrom supplanted Kohl’s as the nation’s most popular fashion retailer and dominated the rankings for various attributes of the shopping experience in a survey of 4,000 consumers conducted by Market Force Information Inc.
As Nordstrom moved to the top spot and Kohl’s fell to second after first-place finishes in the two preceding surveys, Macy’s, Dillard’s and J.C. Penney maintained their respective third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes. The TJX Cos. Inc.’s TJ Maxx division moved to sixth place from eighth, Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic division to seventh from 13th and Gap’s Old Navy unit to the eighth spot from ninth.
Ross Stores picked up two notches to move to ninth place from 11th and Target was up five spots to 10th. The remaining four retailers to make the cut — qualifying as the top fashion retailer for at least 2 percent of the sample after weighting for the number of units — were Wal-Mart, up to 11th place from 16th; TJX’s Marshalls division, down two spots to 12th place, and American Eagle Outfitters and Express, neither of which qualified in the last study, conducted in late 2011.
In addition to its top ranking overall, Nordstrom was rated highest for service, atmosphere, return policy, merchandise selection, ease of finding items, designer lines, unique clothing and dressing rooms. The only attributes in which it didn’t score highest were value, where Ross narrowly beat out TJ Maxx, and loyalty programs, where Kohl’s squeaked by Express.
“I don’t think Kohl’s fell as much as Nordstrom rose to the top,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer of Boulder, Colo.-based Market Force. “When we asked the respondents to classify themselves as ‘fashionista,’ ‘minimalist’ or ‘pragmatist,’ the pragmatist percentage was unchanged but the fashionistas grew by more than 5 percent and the minimalists slipped about the same.
“That shows growing confidence in the economy and bodes well for the industry, particularly at the upper end,” she noted.
The survey’s methodology involved a two-part process. The sample, about 60 percent female, first was asked to designate their favorite fashion retailers from a list of 108. All receiving at least 2 percent of that vote, after adjustment for store count, were then evaluated on individual retail criteria, such as service and return policy.
Kohl’s received a greater number of votes than did Nordstrom, but fell to second place upon the adjustment for store count.
Additional survey questions revealed a growing openness to new retailers. Nearly two in five — 39 percent — said they had been to a new fashion store within 14 days, nearly three times the 14 percent figure from the 2011 study.
Eden-Harris also noted the importance of the “delight” phenomenon in retailing. Asked to rate stores on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, 95 percent of the respondents said they would recommend a store that received a rating of 5, a figure that dropped precipitously, to only 13 percent, for stores rated 4 or lower. “Getting a ‘B’ in retailing just doesn’t cut it,” she said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast